Scientists have discovered as many as 37 volcanic structures on Venus that appear to be still active today. This discovery has refuted the fact that Venus is a dormant planet.
According to the researchers, the focus of the study was ring-like structures called coronae that are caused by an upwelling of hot rock from deep within the planet's interior and provided compelling evidence of widespread recent tectonic and magma activity on Venus' surface.
Earlier it was believed that since Venus lacks the plate tectonic that gradually reshape Earth's surface, it was dormant geologically and have been so for the past half billion years.
“Our work shows that some of that interior heat is still able to reach the surface even today. Venus is clearly not so geologically dead or dormant as previously thought,” said Anna Gülcher, an Earth and planetary scientist of the Institute of Geophysics in Zurich, and lead author of the research published in the journal Nature Geoscience.
According to The Guardian's report, the researchers determined the type of geological features that could exist only in a recently active corona.
The team scoured radar images of Venus taken by Nasa’s Magellan spacecraft in the 1990s to find coronae that fit the bill. Of 133 coronae examined, 37 appear to have been active in the past 2m to 3m years, a blink of the eye in geological time.
“In my opinion, many of these structures are indeed active today,” said Laurent Montesi, a University of Maryland geophysicist and study co-author.
Coronae are essential fields of lava flows and major faults spanning a large circular area. Many of the 37 reside within in a gigantic ring in the planet’s southern hemisphere, including a colossal corona called Artemis which is 1,300 miles (2,100km) in diameter.
Venus, Earth’s closest and just slightly smaller planetary neighbour, is covered by clouds of sulphuric acid and has surface temperatures hot enough to melt lead.