Venus IS volcanically active: Scientists find ‘strong evidence’ of eruptions and lava flows

Venus is understood to be lined in additional volcanos than another planet within the photo voltaic system

And now scientists have ‘sturdy proof’ that a few of these volcanos are nonetheless lively.

Photos from NASA‘s Magellan spacecraft present a vent – a gap by which volcanic exercise happens – on the planet modified form over an eight month interval.

It had grown from about 0.85 sq. miles (2.2 sq. km) to 1.5 sq. miles (3.9 sq. km), which means that eruptions and lava flows on Venus are ongoing, based on researchers on the College of Alaska Fairbanks.

The invention casts doubt that Earth’s sister planet might host microbial life.

Two pictures of 1 specific vent on the massive Maat Mons protect volcano (pictured) had been taken eight months aside, and present it modified form and measurement

The vent had grown from about 0.85 square miles (2.2 square km) to 1.5 square miles (3.9 square km). Left: Vent in February 1991, Right: Vent in October 1991

The vent had grown from about 0.85 sq. miles (2.2 sq. km) to 1.5 sq. miles (3.9 sq. km). Left: Vent in February 1991, Proper: Vent in October 1991

Venus is a terrestrial planet comparable in measurement to Earth, however has a floor temperature round 867°F (464°C) and strain 92 occasions that of our house planet.


Venus, the second planet from the solar, is a rocky planet about the identical measurement and mass of the Earth.

Nevertheless, its ambiance is radically completely different to ours – being 96 per cent carbon dioxide and having a floor temperature of 867°F (464°C) and strain 92 occasions that of on the Earth.

The inhospitable planet is swaddled in clouds of sulphuric acid that make the floor unimaginable to glimpse by way of the seen mild spectrum.

Up to now, Venus seemingly had oceans much like Earth’s – however these would have vaporised because it underwent a runaway greenhouse impact.

The floor of Venus is a dry desertscape, which is periodically modified by volcanic exercise.

The planet has no moons and orbits the Solar each 224.7 Earth days. 

Often known as Earth’s ‘evil twin’, scientists imagine Venus was seemingly liveable 700 million years in the past, earlier than it mysteriously grew to become inhabitable.

As we speak, Venus is a world of intense warmth, crushing atmospheric strain and clouds of corrosive acid.

With 65 per cent of the planet consisting of a mosaic of volcanic lava plains, scientists have identified for a while Venus has a youthful floor than the opposite ‘non-Earth’ rocky planets Mars and Mercury. 

Nevertheless, whereas an eruption has nonetheless but to been imaged on the planet, there was some proof to recommend that these volcanos are nonetheless lively at present.

This consists of the detection of ‘hotspots’ of above common temperatures, lively ‘coronae’ shaped when scorching materials from contained in the planet erupts by the crust, and sulfur dioxide and phosphine fuel within the ambiance, thought to have been launched by volcanos.

However simulations of geodynamic processes on the planet give differing predictions in regards to the degree of ongoing volcanic exercise. 

‘The estimates of how usually eruptions would possibly happen on Venus have been speculative, starting from a number of massive eruptions per 12 months to 1 such eruption each a number of and even tens of years,’ stated creator Dr Robert Herrick. 

For the brand new examine, revealed at present in Science, researchers wished to search out extra conclusive indicators of latest eruptions.

The authors analysed radar pictures taken by the Magellan spacecraft, which orbited the planet from 1989 to 1994, to seek for extra conclusive indicators of eruptions.

Venus (pictured) is a terrestrial planet similar in size to Earth, but it has a surface temperature around 867°F (464°C) and pressure 92 times that of our home planet

Venus (pictured) is a terrestrial planet comparable in measurement to Earth, nevertheless it has a floor temperature round 867°F (464°C) and strain 92 occasions that of our house planet

Dr Herrick said: 'We can now say that Venus is presently volcanically active in the sense that there are at least a few eruptions per year'. Pictured: Surface of Venus

Dr Herrick stated: ‘We are able to now say that Venus is presently volcanically lively within the sense that there are no less than just a few eruptions per 12 months’. Pictured: Floor of Venus

Up till not too long ago, going by these pictures to search out proof of lava flows would take a big period of time, and so not many have tried to take action. 

‘It’s actually solely within the final decade or in order that the Magellan knowledge has been out there at full decision, mosaicked and simply manipulable by an investigator with a typical private workstation,’ stated Dr Herrick. 

Between 1990 and 1992, the probe would take photos of the identical location on Venus two or thrice over, and a few of these had been later recognized as potential volcanic hotspots. 

Two pictures of 1 specific vent on the large Maat Mons protect volcano had been taken eight months aside.

Maat Mons is comparable in quantity to Earth’s largest volcanos however has decrease slopes so is extra unfold out, Dr Herrick stated.

The researchers noticed that it had grown and adjusted from a round formation to an irregular form between February and October 1991.

Additionally they imagine its partitions had shrunk and that it was practically stuffed to its rim with some type of lava lake within the second picture.

Nevertheless they might not inform if it was nonetheless scorching and molten, or had been there sufficient time to have cooled and solidified.

Additionally they noticed ‘volcanic flows downhill from the vent’ within the second picture, however couldn’t affirm that this was current, simply not seen, within the first picture.

Due to this fact, they declare that these adjustments might nicely be the results of lava emanating by the vent resulting from volcanic exercise.

An eruption on the vent, or motion of magma beneath inflicting the partitions to collapse, would have an analogous impact on Earth.

Each of those situations would happen due to close by volcanic eruptions and never earthquakes, main the researchers to rule out one of many latter on Venus.

Dr Herrick stated: ‘We are able to now say that Venus is presently volcanically lively within the sense that there are no less than just a few eruptions per 12 months.

‘We are able to count on that the upcoming Venus missions will observe new volcanic flows which have occurred because the Magellan mission ended three many years in the past, and we should always see some exercise occurring whereas the 2 upcoming orbital missions are accumulating pictures.’


In 2015, scientists recognized ‘hotspots’ of above common temperatures, picked up throughout the European Area Company’s (ESA) Venus Categorical mission which recommend volcanic exercise.

The Venus Categorical additionally uncovered anomalies in emissivity – the measure of an object’s capability to emit infrared power – across the Idunn Mons volcano.

These anomalies present a robust indication of geologically latest lava flows within the space. 

In 2020, 37 ‘coronae’ had been positioned on the floor of Venus that had been the results of at present lively processes.

These ring-like constructions are shaped when scorching materials from deep contained in the planet rises by the mantle and erupts by the crust. 

Previous to this discovery, it was thought the coronae had been indicators of historic exercise from 500 million years in the past relatively than something taking place extra not too long ago.

Scientist have additionally reported sulfur dioxide and phosphine fuel in Venus’ ambiance, that are regarded as launched by volcanos.

Now, researchers have noticed a ‘vent’ –  a gap by which volcanic exercise happens – which modified form over an eight month interval, including to this physique of proof.