Vagisha Kaushik|Aug 3, 2022
BHU geology scientists part of global research team on planet Venus
Banaras Hindu University’s research team including a Geology professor, two PhD students will help identify magmatic, volcanic activities on Venus.
NEW DELHI: Scientists from the Banaras Hindu University (BHU)’s Department of Geology are involved in research on planet Venus. The researchers are doing geological mapping of the surface of Venus for different magmatic units (e.g., volcanic flows and dykes), tectonic units (e.g., major rift zones), and their link with mantle plumes. The BHU team is also assessing the impact from volcanic activity on its climate.
The research to study the surface of Venus is being conducted by International Venus Research Group which comprises teams from Canada, United States, Russia, Morocco and India) studying the surface of Venus.
This global team of researchers is led by Richard Ernst (Tomsk State University, Russia) and co-led by Hafida El Bilali (Carleton University, Canada) and James Head (Brown University, USA).
The BHU Team is coordinated by Professor Rajesh K Srivastava with scientific guidance also being provided by Ernst and El Bilali. Other BHU Team members include Amiya Kumar Samal (Assistant Professor) and two PhD students Harshita Singh and Twinkle Chaddha, with expanded student participation planned.
BHU in “futuristic research”
“This is the only team in India that is involved in such futuristic research,” said an official statement from BHU.
The BHU group will help to identify magmatic, volcanic activities recorded on Venus, which is crucial as Venus is a lot like Earth in size and inner structure, but has a number of differences as well.
The major differences between Earth and Venus are
(i) there is no plate tectonic activity on Venus
(ii) the atmosphere is 96% CO 2 , which is 90 times denser than the Earth’s atmosphere
(iii) the surface temperature is 450 degrees Celsius, hence the absence of bodies of water and, consequently, no erosion.
Some similarities between the two planets are dyke swarms, volcanic flows, volcanoes and all these could be related to plumes as recorded from Earth as well, notably present in the Indian Shield.
The BHU Team’s research also has relevance to the fleet of missions planned for Venus exploration in the coming decade (i.e., NASA’s VERITAS and DAVINCI, Europe’s EnVision, Russia’s Venera-D, and also India’s Shukrayaan-1). The research by BHU Team can contribute to scientific targeting for all these Venus missions and can potentially lead to direct mission involvement, as per the statement.
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