On Venus there are active volcanoes, lava flows discovered. Italian research VIDEO


By John

Observed for the first time recent traces of lava flows on Venus, Earth's sister planet which is almost impossible to study due to a very dense atmosphere. The signs of these eruptions were discovered by an all-Italian study, led by Davide Sulcanese, of the University of Pescara, whose work published in Nature Astronomy demonstrates how Venus is still active and will help plan future space missions, such as Veritas and Envision in which the Italian Space Agency also participates.

“There were clues about possible activity on Venus and now we are certain of it,” Giuseppe Mitri of d'Annunzio and who carried out the study with Sulcanese and Marco Mastrogiuseppe, of the Sapienza University of Rome, told ANSA. Venus is a sort of infernal twin of the Earth because despite having mass and dimensions almost identical to our planet, it has an atmosphere so dense that it has surface temperatures of over 400 degrees and pressures of up to 90 atmospheres.

Precisely its dense atmosphere makes it very difficult to study the surface of Venus, the instruments hardly resist such conditions and most of the analyzes are only possible using radar, as in the case of NASA's Magellan mission which between 1990 and 1994 mapped the planet with a radar. “Thanks to the renewed interest, in view of future missions, and to the great technological improvements in data processing – said Sulcanese – we were able to compare the images obtained between the two periods, discovering the presence in two regions of some lava flows that occurred in that 'time lapse”.

This is the clearest evidence of activity on the planet, which adds to the discovery made about 1 year ago of deformations in a crater, a sign of a probable eruption.

“By studying Venus – added Mitri – we can also understand a lot about our planet, because it helps us, for example, to understand why, despite them being so similar and having formed in the same environment, they then evolved so differently”. Studies that will also help in the development of the new instruments that will be on board NASA's Veritas and the European Space Agency's Envision and which will both have important Italian contributions.