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Venus Might Still Be 'Volcanically Active' With Erupting Volcano, Lava Flow

Oct 20, 2016 05:37 AM EDT
Venus Transit Across The Sun
A new study believes that Venus could still be volcanically active until today after signs of lave flow were seen from the images taken of the planet.
(Photo : SDO/NASA via Getty Images))

Fact is, Venus possesses the most number of volcanoes compared to all planets in the Solar System. But what makes the planet more interesting is that recent reports of volcanic eruptions and lava flow were observed. Could Venus still be volcanically active until today?

A new study is suggesting that one of Venus' volcanoes recently erupted making the planet 'volcanically active' as of today.  This was after the researchers conducted a thorough study of the images taken of the surface of Venus where supposed signs of lava flow were seen. Researchers from the German Aerospace Center located in Cologne are studying Idunn Mons, one of the biggest Venus volcanoes believed to be around 120 miles in diameter and 2.5 kilometers in height. This volcano is almost twice the size of the Earth's biggest active volcano called the Mauna Lao.

In order to study Venus, researchers analyzed the images by the European Space Agency (ESA) and its Venus Express mission. The researchers used the near-infrared images taken in 2006 and 2007 by ESA and the high-resolution NASA's Magellan probe images taken in the 1990s, according to a report.

But looking at the surface of Venus is no easy task. Despite having a ton of imagery to analyze, thick clouds obstruct the images regardless of high-resolution and good quality of the photographs. In order to maximize the images, the researchers used a method that will further enhance the resolution of the images to be able to look beyond the clouds. With the latest technology in photography, methods like these are easier to come by.

Researchers were surprised to discover what appears to be lava flow around the said active volcano. The lava flow was seen near the base and the volcano's peak.

The researchers also suggest that the lava flow affirms the location of Venus Express that says that location appears to be warm. Warm rocks can also be indicative of a volcanically active environment on Venus.

However, the study needs more affirmation to see if Idunn Mons volcano still erupts today. One potential source is the Japanese Akatsuki orbiter and future NASA missions to Venus.


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