Surface changes observed on a Venusian volcano during the Magellan mission

Science. 2023 Mar 24;379(6638):1205-1208. doi: 10.1126/science.abm7735. Epub 2023 Mar 15.


Venus has a geologically young surface, but it is unknown whether it has ongoing active volcanism. From 1990 to 1992, the Magellan spacecraft imaged the planet's surface, using synthetic aperture radar. We examined volcanic areas on Venus that were imaged two or three times by Magellan and identified an ~2.2-square-kilometer volcanic vent that changed shape in the 8-month interval between two radar images. Additional volcanic flows downhill from the vent are visible in the second-epoch images, although we cannot rule out that they were present but invisible in the first epoch because of differences in imaging geometry. We interpret these results as evidence of ongoing volcanic activity on Venus.