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Venus is geologically active and has as many as 37 recently 'live' volcanic structures called coronae that are dotted across its surface, according to astrogeologists.
In planetary geology, a corona /kəˈroʊnə/ (plural: coronae /kəˈroʊniː/) is an oval-shaped feature. Coronae appear on both the planet Venus and Uranus's moon Miranda and may be formed by upwellings of warm material below the surface.
Researchers from the University of Maryland and the Institute of Geophysics, Zurich, created 3D models to investigate whether the coronae could be geologically active. They found that rather than coronae being formed from geological activity more than 500 million years ago, they come from currently active processes.
The ring-like structures are formed when hot material from deep inside the planet rises through the mantle and erupts through the crust.
The team studied different images of coronae taken from orbiting satellites and compared them to 3D computer models they created themselves
With 65 per cent of the planet consisting of a mosaic of volcanic lava plains, scientists have known for some time Venus has a younger surface than the other 'non-Earth' rocky planets Mars and Mercury. Evidence of a warm interior and geologic activity dots the surface of the planet in the form of ring-like structures known as coronae. The ring-like structures are formed when hot material from deep inside the planet rises through the mantle and erupts through the crust.
This is a 2D cross-section through the centre of the model of Venus created by the researchers to determine how 'tectonic' and other activity might occur. It shows in weak areas of lithosphere plumes are able to break through and form circular 'coronae' on the surface
These features form when plumes of hot material deep inside the planet rise through the mantle layer and crust - similar to plumes from Hawaiian island volcanoes.
'Our study presents new evidence for recent tectonic and magmatic activity on the surface of Venus, complementing other indications of such activity,' they said. 'The global arrangement of active coronae suggests a large-scale organization of tectono-magmatic activity on the planet.' These results may help identify target areas where geologic instruments should be placed on future missions to Venus. This could include Europe's EnVision that is scheduled to launch on Venus in 2032. They say that areas with a thin lithosphere allow plumes from deep inside the planet to penetrate through and form a coronae.
These sketches of the four different processes predicted to exist inside Venus for creating different types of coronae on the surface
'The study was published in the journal Nature Geoscience.
Venus' atmosphere consists mainly of carbon dioxide, with clouds of sulphuric acid droplets. The thick atmosphere traps the sun's heat, resulting in surface temperatures higher than 470°C (880°F). The atmosphere has many layers with different temperatures. At the level where the clouds are, about 30 miles (50 km) up from the surface, it's about the same temperature as on the surface of the Earth.
originally posted by: gdkknxnqkc
a reply to: Anon283799
It would be interesting if they could gather samples from the cloud layer.
There is some evidence that the trace-gas constituents of the Venus atmosphere are not in chemical equilibrium with each other. On Earth, the primary source of disequilibrium in theatmospheric chemistry is the activities of biological processing; could disequilibrium on Venusalso be a sign of life? In 1997, David Grinspoon made the suggestion that microbes in the clouds and middle atmosphere could be the source of the disequilibrium...
...Hydrogen sulfide and sulfur dioxide, two gases which react with each other and thus should not be found together, are also both present, indicating some process (possibly biological?) is producing them. Finally, although carbonyl sulfide is difficult to produce inorganically, it is present in the Venusian atmosphere. On Earth, this gas would be considered an unambiguous indicator of biological activity. While none of these chemical combinations are in themselves an unambiguous sign of life, it is interesting enough to warrant a more careful look at the atmospheric chemistry.
A pair of balloon probes that floated in the atmosphere of Venus nearly 30 years ago may have run into a drizzle.
This being Earth’s hellish sister planet – where surface pressure is akin to being 900 m underwater and average temperatures are hot enough to melt lead – the shower wasn’t made of friendly water but rather corrosive sulfuric acid. The finding comes from a re-analysis of data taken by the Vega 1 and 2 missions and may represent the first onsite detection of rain ever made outside of Earth.
In 1984, the Soviet Union joined with several European countries to launch the Vega probes, a complex mission that dropped a pair of landers and balloons on Venus and then sent two spacecraft to make close encounters with Halley’s comet in 1986. No other mission has ever deployed balloons on another planet....
If the findings were proven, they would be the first onsite detection of rain on another planet. The European Space Agency’s Huygens probe, which landed on Saturn’s moon Titan in 2005, may have photographed a liquid drop from rain, though whether this came from the moon or the probe isn’t known.