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Cracked surface of Venus behaves like sea ice

12 Jul 2021, 12:00 UTC
Cracked surface of Venus behaves like sea ice
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The Magellan spacecraft captured this radar view of Venus, showing the largest tectonic block in dark red at center, which is about the size of Alaska. The lighter colors around the block are deformations and ridges. Image via NASA-JPL/ Paul Byrne/ NCSU.
Cracked surface of Venus
Venus is a rocky world similar in size and density to Earth. It’s sometimes said to be Earth’s “twin.” Venus’ surface is far from Earthlike today, however. The cloud-shrouded planet is hot enough on its surface to melt lead. But scientists think that the surface of Venus used to be more like Earth in the past. It might have had a more Earthlike atmosphere, and even surface water (as in ancient oceans). In late June 2021, researchers at North Carolina State University (NCSU) provided more evidence for an Earthlike Venus. It showed Venus may once have been geologically active and might still be active today.
The new analysis showed that the planet’s surface experiences pack ice tectonics. In other words, blocks of Venus’ crust – somewhat resembling pack ice on frozen lakes or the ocean – appear to be moveable.
This isn’t quite the same as plate tectonics on our planet, whereby Earth’s ...

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