Space Stories: Volcanoes on Venus, Exoplanet Radio Signals, and Bright Baby Jupiter

Image (Credit): Map of volcanoes located on Venus. (Washington University in St. Louis)

Here are some recent stories of interest.

Washington University in St. Louis: “Scientists Share ‘Comprehensive’ Map of Volcanoes on Venus — all 85,000 of Them

Byrne and Hahn’s new study includes detailed analyses of where volcanoes are, where and how they’re clustered, and how their spatial distributions compare with geophysical properties of the planet such as crustal thickness. Taken together, this work provides the most comprehensive understanding of Venus’ volcanic properties — and perhaps of any world’s volcanism so far. That’s because, although we know a great deal about the volcanoes on Earth that are on land, there are still likely a great many yet to be discovered under the oceans. Lacking oceans of its own, Venus’ entire surface can be viewed with Magellan radar imagery.

CNN: “Repeating Radio Signal Leads Astronomers to an Earth-Size Exoplanet

Astronomers have detected a repeating radio signal from an exoplanet and the star that it orbits, both located 12 light-years away from Earth. The signal suggests that the Earth-size planet may have a magnetic field and perhaps even an atmosphere…Scientists noticed strong radio waves coming from the star YZ Ceti and the rocky exoplanet that orbits it, called YZ Ceti b, during observations using the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array of telescopes in New Mexico. The researchers believe the radio signal was created by interactions between the planet’s magnetic field and the star.

ScienceNews: “Baby Jupiter Glowed so Brightly it Might have Desiccated its Moon

A young, ultrabright Jupiter may have desiccated its now hellish moon Io. The planet’s bygone brilliance could have also vaporized water on Europa and Ganymede, planetary scientist Carver Bierson reported March 17 at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. If true, the findings could help researchers narrow the search for icy exomoons by eliminating unlikely orbits. Jupiter is among the brightest specks in our night sky. But past studies have indicated that during its infancy, Jupiter was far more luminous. “About 10 thousand times more luminous,” said Bierson, of Arizona State University in Tempe.