Scientists have discovered evidence of volcanic activity on Venus using the analysis of images captured by the Magellan probe (Magellan, English) 30 years ago. Examining the observations has been published in the journal Science and provides a new perspective on the VERITAS mission.
The Magellan probe (Magalhães) was the first deep space mission launched by a space shuttle in 1989. In 5 years of operation, it took several images of the Venusian surface until its final dive into the planet’s atmosphere.
Now, 30 years later, scientists preparing to launch another mission to “Earth’s grumpy twin” have reexamined the data from that successful mission.
Examining the images produced by Magellan, scientists observed structural changes on the planet that point to volcanic activity on Venus.
Robert Herrick, professor at the University of Alaska at Fairbanks and a member of the science team for the new Venus mission, revisited the archives and compared images of the Atla Regio region, home to the largest volcanoes on Venus: Maat Mons and Ozza Monday
He noted that over an eight-month period, the land near Maat Mons underwent a significant change, with the enlargement of the volcano’s mouth becoming misshapen and changes in the surrounding soil.
Studying volcanoes is crucial to understanding whether there is still activity in the cores of planets and how this interacts and changes the crust over the years.
These volcanic clues may help explain, for example, how a planet so similar to Earth became such an uninhabitable and toxic environment.
The legacy of the Magellan probe opens new doors of exploration and observation for the next mission to the planet: VERITAS, which will unravel the mysteries of Venus.
Source: Tec Mundo
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