Dozens of active volcanic sites have been found on Venus by researchers at the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland. From this, scientists will be able to better understand the reasons why the planet is inadequate for the development and permanence of living beings.
The discovery was made in the course of a study led by Anna Gülcher, who developed high-resolution simulations with her colleagues to replicate the formation of the volcanic sites of Venus. According to the researcher, previous investigations have already indicated that the planet has active volcanoes. “What we did was to map these regions”, explains Gülcher.
To that end, the group compared their simulation with data from the European Space Agency’s Venus Express mission, which ended in 2014, and NASA’s Magellan mission, which ended in 1994. With that, they were able to identify which volcanic sites could still be active. In the images of the Magellan mission, 37 locations were mapped.
Most of these sites, according to the researchers, formed a circle at the ends of the planet – what the group dubbed the “Ring of Fire”.
The volcanoes of Venus, it is worth mentioning, are much larger than those present on planet Earth. The volcanic sites of the planet are, on average, 300 kilometers in diameter, while the largest active volcano on our planet, located in Mauna Loa, Hawaii, is only 120 km.
“Based on size, chemistry and position in the Solar System, Venus is the planet most like Earth to date,” said researcher Sami Michail, from the University of St. Andrews, UK. According to him, understanding the planet’s volcanic activity is essential to understanding why it is arid and hot, while the Earth is habitable.