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An active volcanic valley on the surface of Venus with smoking fumaroles; heat shimmer; heat haze; terrestrial planet; telluric planet; rocky planet; runaway greenhouse effect - Space Art Illustration

 

A venusian volcanic valley

Based upon analysis of the number and distribution of impact craters across the whole of Venus, the entire surface appears to be the same age: about 500 million years old. This is an astonishing result since 500 million years is young for a planet in our solar system. Like the Earth, Venus is thought to be about 4.5 billion years old. This suggests that 500 million years ago (1/9th Venus' current age) Venus completely resurfaced itself--turned itself inside out. What caused such a cataclysmic event, or if indeed this is what really happened, remains a mystery.

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Copyright Walter B. Myers. All rights reserved.

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