Friday, November 03, 2006

Venus: no catastrophic volcanic resurfacing?

It used to be thought that the relative absence of
craters on our planetary (evil) twin Venus's surface (as radar-mapped by the NASA mission Magellan) implied recent (about 500 Myr-ago) catastrophic volcanic resurfacing (lava covering a large fraction of the planet to a depth of about 3 km is pretty catastrophic).

A new reanalysis of the original data is casting doubt on that old interpretation - the lava might be only (!) 1 km or so deep, and may date from billions of years ago.

Read the full article here on the New Scientist "Space" web page.

The false color radar image of a part of Venus's surface is credit NASA/JPL.

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