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mahesh
2009-Aug-01, 12:48 PM
This is from the BBC. About three hours ago.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8179067.stm

Part quote:
Astronomers are puzzled by a strange bright spot which has appeared in the clouds of Venus.

The spot was first identified by an amateur astronomer on 19 July and was later confirmed by the European Space Agency's Venus Express spacecraft. Data from the European probe suggests the spot appeared at least four days before it was spotted from Earth.....

The spot was first identified by US amateur astronomer Frank Melillo, from Holtsville, New York.[/quote]

This is about the same time as ngc3314's earlier thread in Astrophotography about the Jovian impact, last week.

I do wonder, if the two events are related!

If the BAUT mods consider this thread not to be in the correct (!) forum, perhaps you would kindly move it to the apposite section.
I didn't mean to forget to say thanks. Listening to the STS 127 highlights...

jonfr
2009-Aug-01, 04:21 PM
According to news there is something strange happening on Venus. This might be volcanic eruption happening.

Experts puzzled by spot on Venus (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8179067.stm)

A new bright spot on Venus (http://www.astronomynow.com/news/n0907/21venus/)

Glom
2009-Aug-01, 04:38 PM
Volcanic eruptions happen constantly on Venus. What makes this one so different?

jonfr
2009-Aug-01, 05:37 PM
Actually, they don't according to most studies they don't appear to be active. However, if this is an eruption, that needs to be re-evaluate accordingly.

Best Venus volcano article that I could find in a quick search.

Volcanism on Venus (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volcanism_on_Venus) (Wikipedia)

schlaugh
2009-Aug-01, 05:37 PM
It's the least likely possibility, but what about a relatively small impact? How would it look as compared to volcanic activity?

Glom
2009-Aug-01, 05:51 PM
Actually, they don't according to most studies they don't appear to be active. However, if this is an eruption, that needs to be re-evaluate accordingly.

Best Venus volcano article that I could find in a quick search.

Volcanism on Venus (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volcanism_on_Venus) (Wikipedia)

How did we conclude that? How much actual observation has been done of the Venusian surface as opposed to mapping?

jonfr
2009-Aug-01, 06:04 PM
I don't know how they did figure that out.

Here is a news that I forgot.

Bright Spot on Venus Stumps Scientists (http://www.livescience.com/space/090730-venus-bright-spot.html)

GalacticBeatDown
2009-Aug-01, 06:05 PM
There is evidence that supports that volcanism is still active on Venus. The link I have below shows some evidence for it and also discusses the Venus Express Probe.

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Venus_Express_Reboots_The_Search_For_Active_Volcan oes_On_Venus_999.html

Damburger
2009-Aug-01, 06:14 PM
Its a fortuitous time to have a probe in orbit isn't it?

The question is, can the instruments of Venus Express do justice to an event that it wasn't designed to look at, and one that will probably be long gone before any other probe can be sent to Venus.

schlaugh
2009-Aug-01, 06:46 PM
Same topic, different thread over in the Astronomy forum:

http://www.bautforum.com/astronomy/91493-volcano-eruption-venus.html

Damburger
2009-Aug-01, 07:23 PM
If it is an impact, then could its coincidence with an impact on Jupiter indicate an unusual number of small bodies in the solar system right now? Might this be a threat to Earth?

A volcanic eruption would be interesting (especially as it would perhaps give us an insight into how Venus' thick atmosphere formed) but as has been pointed out it would need to be a biggie to be visible like this.

jonfr
2009-Aug-01, 09:36 PM
How long is the observer window on Venus at the moment ?

matthewota
2009-Aug-01, 11:11 PM
If it is an impact, then could its coincidence with an impact on Jupiter indicate an unusual number of small bodies in the solar system right now? Might this be a threat to Earth?

A volcanic eruption would be interesting (especially as it would perhaps give us an insight into how Venus' thick atmosphere formed) but as has been pointed out it would need to be a biggie to be visible like this.

It is still uncertain what has caused the bright patch. It does not have anything to do with the recent impact on Jupiter. It may just be a weather phenomenon.

timb
2009-Aug-02, 01:03 AM
Volcanic eruptions happen constantly on Venus. What makes this one so different?

Really? and how do you know that?

Tuckerfan
2009-Aug-02, 03:19 AM
If it is an impact, then could its coincidence with an impact on Jupiter indicate an unusual number of small bodies in the solar system right now? Might this be a threat to Earth?We can only hope.

mugaliens
2009-Aug-02, 08:10 AM
I'm thinking "meteor impact," but I could be totally wrong.

Damburger
2009-Aug-02, 08:58 AM
It is still uncertain what has caused the bright patch. It does not have anything to do with the recent impact on Jupiter. It may just be a weather phenomenon.

How do you know it does not have anything to do with it? I didn't realise you were the final authority on phenomena thus far unexplained by science.

Why is it out of the question that both events are a result of a swarm of objects passing through this part of the Solar system?

djellison
2009-Aug-02, 09:33 AM
Its a fortuitous time to have a probe in orbit isn't it?.

That's the most puzzling thing - why wasn't it seen by VEX first.

mahesh
2009-Aug-02, 10:39 AM
I haven't been following this through, since yesterday, but...
as Damburger mentions in jonfr's thread...

If it is an impact, then could its coincidence with an impact on Jupiter indicate an unusual number of small bodies in the solar system right now? Might this be a threat to Earth?...

I did and do think/cogitate a bit about this, that some times, may be Jove, the Cosmic Hoover, can't 'get' to all the NEOs.

But there again, no NEOs is good NEOs, I suppose! What say.


I'm thinking "meteor impact,"...
pretty close shave! :D

slang
2009-Aug-02, 11:19 AM
If it is an impact, then could its coincidence with an impact on Jupiter indicate an unusual number of small bodies in the solar system right now? Might this be a threat to Earth?

And two of those objects just happen to hit two very, very far apart planets, with results big enough to easily see from Earth, at the same time to boot? I'm not very good with statistics, to put it mildly, but my gut tells me that the chances of that are vanishingly small. To better the chances there would have to be a lot of objects. It's unlikely that only the two biggest objects would happen to hit a planet, so likely there would be more big objects in such a swarm. Yet we see nothing. Science from the gut, take it FWIW :)

slang
2009-Aug-02, 11:24 AM
How did we conclude that? How much actual observation has been done of the Venusian surface as opposed to mapping?

Mapping is observation. What makes you consider them opposites? What do you consider "actual observation"?

mahesh
2009-Aug-02, 11:34 AM
... To better the chances there would have to be a lot of objects. It's unlikely that only the two biggest objects would happen to hit a planet, so likely there would be more big objects in such a swarm. Yet we see nothing....

Hey slang, didn't you know...no NEOs is good NEOs! :silenced:

marsbug
2009-Aug-02, 11:34 AM
There is evidence that supports that volcanism is still active on Venus. The link I have below shows some evidence for it and also discusses the Venus Express Probe.

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Venus_Express_Reboots_The_Search_For_Active_Volcan oes_On_Venus_999.html

There is but nothing conclusive so far - one of the reasons venus deserves more attention!

slang
2009-Aug-02, 11:42 AM
Hey slang, didn't you know...no NEOs is good NEOs! :silenced:

Go tell Morpheus! Guy keeps whining about some NEO! :rolleyes:

Rhaedas
2009-Aug-02, 01:14 PM
One of the articles mentioned that volcanism may not be likely due to the very thick atmosphere, so it would have to be something very major to even get to visible layers, plus our mappings show a slower type of volcanism on Venus, more like the Hawaiian islands than an explosive one.

Have we found any evidence through radar of caldera type volcanoes on Venus?

At any rate, it's good to have new phenomena happen on other planets...we always learn something new.

Tinaa
2009-Aug-02, 01:32 PM
Merged two threads so there may be some posts that don't quite match up.

Glom
2009-Aug-02, 02:22 PM
What I mean is, how much of the study has been "4D" as we say in the trade?

mahesh
2009-Aug-02, 02:42 PM
Merged two threads so there may be some posts that don't quite match up.

Some of our planetary orbits don't match up either, Tinaa.

Many thanks.

jonfr
2009-Aug-02, 04:57 PM
Here are some other news. There is a UK scientist claiming that this might be a volcano eruption.

Was spot on Venus a volcano? (http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=was-spot-on-venus-a-volcano-2009-07)

Is there any new information about this white spot on Venus ?

Jerry
2009-Aug-03, 12:51 AM
mmmm Jupiter, Venus...missing sunspots?



That's the most puzzling thing - why wasn't it seen by VEX first.
How many people are studying VEX images in ~real time?

We used to harp about the ssssllllloooowwww public release of ESA data on Doug's website. An amateur was quick to pick up the splotch on Jupiter. The more eyes, the better for one-of-a-kind events like these.

Bearded One
2009-Aug-03, 02:22 AM
Confirmed detection of an active volcano on Venus would be big news. Indications are that Venus is volcanically active but it's irritating that we haven't seen any actual active volcanoes yet.

mantiss
2009-Aug-03, 08:27 PM
It's actually irritating that I can't find anything even remotely close to real time images from VEx... Anyone has a link for something that is of any relevance or is it all being slowly trickled out by the ESA... :mad:

slang
2009-Aug-03, 09:29 PM
Perhaps someone's hammering on a paper and sitting on observations.

borman
2009-Aug-03, 09:59 PM
Just idle speculation, but what about an icy alkaline cometary fragment. With water and base to mix with Venus acidic atmosphere, an upper atmosphere Tunguska-like explosion would lead to mixing and an acid-base reaction that leads to white salts being made locally that may take time to diffuse into the dense atmosphere.

Glom
2009-Aug-04, 04:04 PM
Just idle speculation, but what about an icy alkaline cometary fragment. With water and base to mix with Venus acidic atmosphere, an upper atmosphere Tunguska-like explosion would lead to mixing and an acid-base reaction that leads to white salts being made locally that may take time to diffuse into the dense atmosphere.

You're suggesting a comet collision rather than volcanism? Wouldn't we have seen the comet? (Of course we missed whatever plowed into Jupiter the other day.)

Damburger
2009-Aug-04, 04:34 PM
You're suggesting a comet collision rather than volcanism? Wouldn't we have seen the comet? (Of course we missed whatever plowed into Jupiter the other day.)

If there have indeed been two collisions with the south poles of planets, its likely to be a group of objects coming from below the plane of the ecliptic. Most people looking for objects in the solar system aren't directing their gaze there.

That said, the more I've read it seems a collision of any kind is unlikely, the event is bright in the ultraviolet, which it wouldn't be if a collision had left lots of fragments in the atmosphere.

mahesh
2009-Aug-04, 06:41 PM
You're suggesting a comet collision rather than volcanism? Wouldn't we have seen the comet? (Of course we missed whatever plowed into Jupiter the other day.)

Glom / geek....

I think the two events occurred, nay, were detected, at about the same time.


...That said, the more I've read it seems a collision of any kind is unlikely, the event is bright in the ultraviolet, which it wouldn't be if a collision had left lots of fragments in the atmosphere.

Perhaps, only, Jupiter's gravitational power would pull apart any extra-solar visitor. Not necessarily Venus's.

I haven't found much news about the two events. Am going to gather some, tomorrow...

matthewota
2009-Aug-04, 07:31 PM
We must be prepared for the news that the spot will remain a mystery. I am not sure if the Venus Express spacecraft has the instrumentation capable of providing a definitive answer.

Damburger
2009-Aug-05, 08:34 AM
If it is volcanic, there will be some changes to the surface, so the next time someone maps the area with radar, it will have obvious differences from previous images. If this is the case, then it suggests a lander mission to go and have a closer look.

If there are no surface changes, then yes it is likely to remain a mystery.

Glom
2009-Aug-05, 05:47 PM
If it is volcanic, there will be some changes to the surface, so the next time someone maps the area with radar, it will have obvious differences from previous images. If this is the case, then it suggests a lander mission to go and have a closer look.

If there are no surface changes, then yes it is likely to remain a mystery.

I assume by lander mission, you mean to take a look at the freshly deposited material, not to confirm that a volcanic eruption did indeed take place.

If it was a comet impact, might not their also be evidence of the impact on the surface?

Damburger
2009-Aug-07, 01:58 PM
I suppose, yes, but as I said the latest news I have read indicates to me there hasn't been indicated.

By a lander mission I do mean one to look at the new surface; it should be possible to confirm there has been a change from orbit.

mantiss
2009-Aug-07, 02:09 PM
I assume that if it is volcanic in nature it should be somewhat readable through spectrographic analysis of the atmosphere around the area concerned, even through filters and a good serious telescope, even a fireball from an impact would probably show the remnants of the air blast in the form of dust or water in case of a cometary fragment.

mantiss
2009-Aug-19, 08:52 PM
latest I found on this: http://www.venus.wisc.edu/news_features.html

Jerry
2009-Aug-20, 06:15 PM
Nice article, thanks.

"What Caused the Brightening?
A volcanic eruption is one possibility, a solar wind connection is another, an icy comet impact is plausible and intrinsic changes in the cloud without any external cause is also likely. The challenge is to identify the cause of the brightening from any intrinsic changes in the cloud cover due to atmospheric winds."

Perhaps sympathy pains for Jupiter?