Scientists from NASA have for the first time detected signs of volcanic activity on Venus, neighboring Earth.
Study author Robert Herrick said in a statement that he did not expect immediate success with the study, which looked at more than 30 years of archival images of the planet.
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When the researchers reviewed images taken between 1990 and 1992, they discovered that the Maat Mons volcano had changed at some point, according to the study.
Over a period of eight months, the images showed that the volcano’s shape had changed. NASA wrote in a press release that this indicates that it may have been an eruption.
The Maat Mons volcano is about eight kilometers high and the highest is the Venus volcano.
Herrick, who in addition to his work on NASA’s Project Veritas, is a professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, the results were unexpected.
– I wasn’t expecting immediate success, but after about 200 hours of manually comparing images from the Magellan orbiter, I saw two images of the same area eight months apart that showed clear geological changes resulting from a volcanic eruption, he said in a statement, according to Expressen.
According to NASA, examining active volcanoes could increase understanding of how a planet’s interior affects its outer surface, which in turn influences the possibilities for evolution and life on the planet.
Venus is the size of Earth and is often referred to as Earth’s “twin planet”.
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