Venus shows signs of active volcanoes

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

Venus lava
Venus may have active volcanoes with rivers of lava.

Of all the planets in the Solar System, Earth is the only one with obvious signs of complex life forms such as humans. However, our planet isn’t the only one with active volcanoes! According to new research, the planet Venus seems to be teeming with lava-spewing mountains.

In order to reach this conclusion, researchers used pictures from the Venus Monitoring Camera located on Europe’s Venus Express orbiter. The camera took pictures over the same area every few days, and when the researchers compared the pictures, they noticed something strange. One area would feature nothing extraordinary, but when a new picture was taken a few days later, there was a bright spot glowing over it.

There could be a number of explanations for these strange spots, but the scientists are quite certain the pictures show an active volcanic eruption. In fact, the illuminated regions are likely streams of lava coating the ground.

If this is true, the findings would give scientists a new way to look at Venus’ atmosphere, surface, and core conditions. It may also provide an explanation for why Venus has thick acidic clouds.

Featured image courtesy of ESA/AOES.