People are fascinated with space and the things in it. The amount of information and knowledge we can obtain from space is simply unimaginable. And since the beginning of the space race, technological and research advances do not stop.
Ever since man went to the moon, space expeditions and explorations have always hovered over humanity. Humans dream of going to Mars, practically since the planet was discovered. But another planet also attracts attention.
Venus is the second planet in the solar system. It was named after the Roman goddess of love and beauty Venus, also known as Aphrodite. The planet Venus is about 4.5 billion years old and is considered the brightest celestial body in the sky. That, after the sun and moon, of course.
It may be a hellish and toxic planet, however, according to new evidence, Venus may have more in common with Earth than previously thought. That’s because scientists have just found evidence that the planet’s crust may have rubbing tectonic blocks. Which isn’t too different from broken blocks of ice.
These plates are not entirely the same as our planet’s tectonic plates, but the finding suggests that Venus’ crust is not a globally continuous lithosphere. And that its convective motion rotates below.
This discovery not only gives insight into Venus, it may also help researchers better understand the evolution and dynamics of tectonics on the early Earth.
“We have identified an unrecognized pattern of tectonic deformation on Venus, which is driven by internal movement, just as on Earth. Although different from the tectonics we currently see on Earth, it is still evidence of interior motion being expressed on the planet’s surface,” said planetary scientist Paul Byrne of North Carolina State University.
Our planet really is unique in the solar system in many ways. One is its plate tectonic system, which has varying scales of crust rubbing against each other and overlapping moving over a hot, molten inner planetary layer.
This sort of thing is not seen on other planets, not even Venus . Which is strange considering the similar geological sizes and compositions between Venus and Earth.
In evolution, these two planets followed quite different paths even though they had similarities. And the reasons why this happened are still not well understood. So if researchers can figure out how and why Earth and Venus turned into an ocean world and a scorching desert respectively, they might have better control of similar exoplanets.
“Tectonic plates on Earth are driven by convection in the mantle. The mantle is hot or cold in different places, it moves and part of this movement is transferred to the Earth’s surface in the form of plate movement. A variation on this theme seems to be happening on Venus as well. It’s not plate tectonics like on Earth, there are no huge mountain ranges being created here, or giant subduction systems, but it’s evidence of deformation due to the flowing interior mantle, which hasn’t been demonstrated on a global scale before,” explained Byrne.
Furthermore, the latest evidence suggests that Venus may still be volcanically active.