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Experts puzzled by spot on Venus

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posted on Aug, 2 2009 @ 10:34 PM

Astronomers are puzzled by a strange bright spot which has appeared in the clouds of Venus. The spot was first identified by an amateur astronomer on 19 July and was later confirmed by the European Space Agency's Venus Express spacecraft.

Data from the European probe suggests the spot appeared at least four days before it was spotted from Earth. The bright spot has since started to expand, being spread by winds in Venus's thick atmosphere. Scientists are unsure as to what caused the bright spot tens of kilometres up.

However, a volcanic eruption is a possibility. Much of the planet is thought to have been resurfaced by volcanism. Though no firm evidence for present-day volcanism has been discovered, scientists suspect it could still be happening on Venus. But an eruption would have needed to be extremely powerful to penetrate this far through the planet's dense, mainly carbon dioxide, atmosphere. Another potential source for the bright spot are charged particles from the Sun interacting with Venus's atmosphere.

Alternatively, atmospheric turbulence may have caused bright material to become concentrated in one area. This is not the first time bright areas have been spotted on Venus. But this feature is unusual because it is confined to a relatively small region. The spot was first identified by US amateur astronomer Frank Melillo, from Holtsville, New York. Astronomers have recently been studying a "scar" on Jupiter, thought to have been caused by a comet or asteroid impact.

This appears to be yet further evidence that changes are happening across our solar system, and perhaps we may discover why.

[edit on 2-8-2009 by GideonHM]

posted on Aug, 2 2009 @ 10:38 PM
reply to post by GideonHM

We really know little about the other planets, but, you are right, what we can be sure of is that changes are taking place on several planets right now, unexplainable because as long as we have been recording events, we have not seen anything like what we are seeing.

posted on Aug, 2 2009 @ 10:56 PM
Maybe the spot was caused by volcanic activity?

Just a thought....

posted on Aug, 2 2009 @ 11:02 PM
this is already posted and discussed here

and here

posted on Aug, 2 2009 @ 11:05 PM
reply to post by space cadet

Yeah, you can never tell the full impact of what we are evidencing usually until it is way too late to change things.

This is the second planet in our solar system in less than a month that is now showing surface or atmosphere discoloration. Just like with the Jupiter scar, I have seen no evidence of why it happened, and I still wonder if a gas giant planet would actually show meteoric surface scars. That is a personal quandry, and it just makes me more skeptical of the astronomical information we receive from news and scientific sources.

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