New mapping, simulations point to cause of planet’s hot spot
PASADENA, Calif. — Venus is already known to host a hellish landscape with stifling temperature and suffocating pressure — and, a new study now hints, possibly rivers of lava oozing out of a volcano.
Several lava flows appear to be recently or currently active on a Venusian volcano known as Idunn Mons, planetary scientist Piero D’Incecco reported October 17 at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society’s Division for Planetary Sciences. Hot spots first detected by the Venus Express spacecraft, which orbited the planet from 2006 to 2015, had already hinted that the volcano might be active. But Venus guards its secrets tightly. Orbiters have trouble peering through the thick clouds that blanket the planet, and landers don’t last long because of the extreme environment.
Venus Express couldn’t see the source of