(ORDO NEWS) — There may be active volcanoes on Venus.
Venus, although similar to Earth in size and mass, does not have moving lithospheric plates.
It is in the contact zones of different tectonic plates that volcanic eruptions often occur, and therefore it was believed for a long time that they do not exist on Venus.
Robert Herrick of the University of Alaska compared a radar image taken by the US Magellan probe in mid-February 1991 with an image taken in mid-October 1991.
The scientist noticed significant changes on the northern side of the domed shield volcano Moat. In the first frame, the hole in the ground has a round shape and does not exceed one and a half square kilometers in area.
In the second frame, the hole has acquired an irregular shape and an area of more than two square kilometers.
Changes of this magnitude on Earth are associated with volcanic activity, whether it be an eruption through a vent or movement of magma under a vent that causes its walls to collapse and the vent to widen.
A later image shows that the walls of the vent have become lower by several tens of meters and that the vent has filled almost to the brim.
The researchers speculate that a lava lake formed in the hole in the eight months between shots, although it is not known whether its contents were liquid or cooled and solidified.
However, the observed picture has another explanation: the collapse of the walls and the expansion of the hole could have occurred due to an earthquake.
At the same time, collapses of vents of this magnitude on terrestrial volcanoes have always been accompanied by volcanic eruptions nearby.
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