Scientists discovered more than 85,000 volcanoes on Venus

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(ORDO NEWS) — Scientists at Washington University in St. Louis have identified 85,000 volcanoes on Venus using radar images from NASA‘s Magellan mission, revealing more about the volcanic properties of any rocky planet.

Radar images from the Magellan mission enabled planetary scientists de Paul Byrne and Jessica Hahn to catalog the 85,000 volcanoes on Venus. About 99% of them are less than 5 kilometers in diameter.

A study published in JGR Planets showed the locations, clustering patterns, and spatial distribution of these volcanoes as a function of the planet’s geophysical properties, including crustal thickness.

The results of the study provide the most complete picture of the volcanic properties of Venus and, perhaps, the volcanism of any other rocky planet.

This scientific breakthrough follows the discovery of active volcanism on Venus, made possible by innovative data analysis from the Magellan mission in the 1990s.

Byrne and Hahn focused on the less studied small volcanoes on Venus, especially volcanoes less than 5 kilometers in diameter, which were often overlooked in previous studies.

Jessica Hahn explained that these small volcanoes make up about 99% of their dataset.

The researchers used a variety of spatial statistics to study the distribution of these volcanoes and determine if they are clustered around other Venusian structures or concentrated in certain regions.

Khan believes that this number of volcanoes they presented (85,000) is actually a conservative estimate.

It indicates that hundreds of thousands of other geological features may exist on the surface of Venus, demonstrating volcanic properties hidden on the surface of Venus. They are too small to be found.

Khan added that in the Magellan mission data, a volcano with a diameter of 1 kilometer would be only 7 pixels wide, making it difficult to recognize.

However, a higher resolution survey of the surface would reveal finer structures.


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