(ORDO NEWS) — For a long time, scientists believed that the thickness of the lithosphere of Venus is too great to support the movement of tectonic plates.
Now, however, California researchers have said that this is not the case, and in tectonic terms, Venus is not too different from the Earth.
Although Venus is the closest planet to Earth in the solar system, at first glance they look completely different.
If the Earth supports conditions suitable for a variety of life forms, describing Venus as “inhospitable” would be a huge understatement.
However, despite its unfriendly nature, Venus belongs to the terrestrial planets and is much more like our home planet than Mars or Mercury.
The key similarity is that both the Earth and Venus radiate thermal energy into space, which means that its core is still hot enough to support the active movement of tectonic plates .
Previously, scientists assumed that the lithosphere of Venus is too thick and viscous for tectonic plates to slide, crash and diverge on its surface, but now astronomers from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California (USA) have found that in this respect the two neighboring planets are almost indistinguishable from each other. friend.
They came to their conclusions by analyzing data collected by the Magellan interplanetary station in the 1990s and calculating the thickness of the lithosphere by measuring the bow inside surface formations called crowns, formed as a result of geological and volcanic activity.
Using the Magellan altimetry data, they determined the average thickness of the lithosphere at 75 points of 65 crowns: 11 ± 7 kilometers.
Astronomers have calculated that, judging by the amount of radiated heat, Venus is on average more tectonically active than the Earth, and from the point of view of our planet, it is now at an early stage of geological development, being an analogue of the Archean Earth (about 4-2.5 billion years ago).
The only serious difference is the absence of a global ocean on the surface of Venus, which formed on Earth at the very early stages of its development.
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