Signs of Active Lava Emissions found on Venus

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Historically speaking, early missions to Venus spotted scarring by ancient volcanic activity. However, ESA’s Venus Express has given new active lava emissions on the planet, by directly photographing clues of volcanic eruptions, which no other mission has previously spotted.

Venus is also called “Earth’s twin” because of a similar mass, composition & the presence of an internal heat source but the surface of Venus is barren and scarred with soaring temperatures of 462 ° C due to dense greenhouse gas emissions.

The Venus express was able to reach the surface and send data back of infrared imagery where certain spots located near two volcanoes, Ozza Mons and Maat Mons heat up and then cool down again which makes scientists believe that this can be only explained by volcanic activity.

A paper reporting the findings has been published by the Geophysical Research Letters.

“We have now seen several events where a spot on the surface suddenly gets much hotter, and then cools down again,” says Eugene Shalygin of the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Germany, and lead author of the paper on the findings. “These four ‘hotspots’ are located in what are known from radar imagery to be tectonic rift zones, but this is the first time we have detected that they are hot and changing in temperature from day to day. It is the most tantalising evidence yet for active volcanism.”

Check out some images of the Venus Express mission below:

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ESA infographic highlighting past and present clues to active volcanism on Venus (Credit: ESA)

venus-express-active-volcanism

ESA’s Venus Express has found the best evidence yet that our planetary neighbor experiences active volcanism, as depicted in this artist’s impression (Credit: ESA – AOES Medialab)

ESA's Venus Express spacecraft ended its mission by plunging into Venus' atmosphere last December (Credit: ESA–C. Carreau)

ESA’s Venus Express spacecraft ended its mission by plunging into Venus’ atmosphere last December
(Credit: ESA–C. Carreau)

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