Hotspot volcanoes

Venus is younger than Mars, still has active volcanoes like Earth: study


Venus is believed to be younger and emerged much later after the formation of our closest neighbor Mars, said a group of scientists who examined active volcanic sites first. Published in the journal Solar System Research, the conclusion was jointly drawn by a team of scientists from Russia, Spain, Finland, Italy and Spain. Scientists are currently focusing on young volcanic sites on Venus that will also be targeted for future orbital and in situ measurements, the study found.

Volcanoes point to a younger age

The researchers mainly focused on the Imdr region of Venus, where the “Idunn Mons” volcano is located with a diameter of 200 km. By analyzing the area, scientists discovered, via the VIRTIS spectrometer, that the age of the surface in this area is between 2.5 million years and only 250,000 years. Scientists have found another strong support for their conclusion. They found that the targeted region had lower wind speeds at the lower limit of the Venus cloud layer caused by volcanic activity in younger areas. Based on their global observations, scientists concluded that Venus was young, while the red planet Mars could exist for billions of years. According to Roscosmos, indirect evidence suggests that Venusian volcanoes and tectonic plates are still active with the interior of the planet. He further said analysis of data from orbiters operating near Venus, in particular, shows that in areas of young volcanic heights, the surface age can be well below the generally accepted 500 million years.

Through this attempt, scientists are trying to understand the anatomy of Venus and what happened to it in the past as well as the activities currently taking place on its surface. The analysis presented clues that volcanic activity is still ongoing in some areas that should be targeted for future surveys. Previous research by the Universities Space Research Association (USRA) had also revealed the presence of lava flowing on the surface of Venus which may be only a few years old. This discovery had hinted that younger planets like Earth and Venus are the only ones to have active volcanoes.

India’s quest to Venus in 2023

The Indian mission Shukrayaan-1 should leave for the hot planet in 2023. The mission aims to explore in its mission Venus the surface, the subsoil and the atmosphere of the planet, as well as its interaction with the Sun. Earlier in 2018, ISRO had solicited proposals from the international scientific community to perform new experiments for the mission.

(Image: PTI)