March 16, 2023 – 7:16 PM
3D model of Maat Mons – Source: NASA
NASA’s Magellan space probe was actually destroyed in the first half of the 1990s, but the recent discovery is an excellent example of how important it is to hide ancient data and recordings. According to a recent study published in the journal Science, traces of volcanic activity have been found in the probe’s thirty-year-old radar images of Venus, a planet for which there had been no clear evidence before.
Well, thirty years may seem like a long time, but from the point of view of planetary history it is almost nothing, and if we add to this one of the goals of the Veritas mission, which will be launched in a decade, will be an investigation of the volcanic activity of the planet, then the excitement is understandable.
But how did you manage to find out? On the NASA JPL website Published article According to radar images, Professor Robert Herrick noticed a circular crack near the giant eight-kilometer Maat Mons volcano, which grew twice as much between February and October 1991, however, based on the images, this cannot be clearly determined. It was due to volcanic activity. Therefore, he turned to a specialist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, reconstructed with the help of computer models what could have caused the change, and in the end came to the conclusion without any doubt that only volcanic activity caused it.
Herrick said he hadn’t expected such success sifting through old footage, but after spending nearly two hundred hours studying images from the Magellan spacecraft, he questioned the existence of two images of the same region, which led to the discovery. In any case, there was plenty to choose from, because it was Magellan His mission lasted four years It circled Venus about fifteen thousand times during the 1990s, and finally burned up in the planet’s atmosphere in October 1994.
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