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A volcano on Venus was spotted erupting in decades-old images

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Venus has active volcanism. A new analysis of decades-old images reveals the first definitive sign of a volcano erupting on the hellish planet next door.

NASA’s Magellan spacecraft observed the volcano Maat Mons twice between 1990 and 1992. Sometime in the 243 Earth days between each observation, the volcanic vent appears to have morphed from a 2.2-square-kilometer circle to a 4-square-kilometer blob. That change indicates that an eruption had occurred, researchers report online March 15 in Science and at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in The Woodlands, Texas.

“This world is not quiet, not quiescent, not dead,” says planetary scientist Paul Byrne of Washington University in St. Louis who was not involved in the new work.

Venus is about the same size and mass as Earth so it should have a similar amount…



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