Exploring Our Twin Planet

Venus is often called Earth’s twin, which seems like a very strange thing to say considering Earth is bountiful with life while Venus is uninhabitable to virtually all organisms we have on Earth. However, new research has led scientists to believe Venus’s surface is more dynamic than previously thought. The planets of terrestrial worlds such as the Moon and Mars are static, but this isn’t the case with Earth and Venus. Venus is a world covered in lava and ancient volcanoes. It is compared to Earth due to their similar sizes and thick atmospheres, and while Venus doesn’t feature plate tectonics that we have on Earth, we have found evidence of geological activity on Venus. Based on discoveries of lava filled blocks, scientists speculate that Venus’s crust could heat up enough for blocks of land to rotate and move around. Given the fact that it was thought that no geological activity had occurred on Venus for millions of years, this is an extraordinary theory. Similar to plate tectonics on Earth, large chunks of rock move around Venus’s surface. However, unlike on Venus, on Earth new crust is created and old crust sinks into the planet. It’s still to early to know what exactly is causing the geological activity on Venus, but I’m hopeful further study of Venus will make us increasingly certain that we truly do have a (fraternal) twin planet beside us!

pia00233-_venus_-_3d_perspective_view_of_eistla_regio_edit

Venus Surface

 

Sources:

https://phys.org/news/2017-12-lava-filled-blocks-venus-geological.html

http://www.newsweek.com/venus-more-earth-we-thought-despite-nightmare-atmosphere-751433

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