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Venus could have active volcanoes, says research

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New York: Venus, the Earth’s nearest neighbour may be volcanically active, suggests new research that found temporary spikes in temperature at several spots on the planet’s surface.

The hotspots, which were found to flash and fade over the course of just a few days, appear to be generated by active flows of lava on the surface, the researchers said.

“We were able to show strong evidence that Venus is volcanically, and thus internally, active today,” said study co-author James Head, geologist at Brown University in the US.

“This is a major finding that helps us understand the evolution of planets like our own.”

The research was published online in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

The hotspots turned up in thermal imaging taken by the European Space Agency’s Venus Express spacecraft’s Venus Monitoring Camera.

The data showed spikes in temperature of several hundred degrees Fahrenheit in spots ranging in size from one square km to over 200 km.

The latest result is consistent with other data from Venus Express that has hinted at very recent volcanic activity.

“The observation of hotspots by Venus Express makes a strong case for a volcanically active Venus.” (IANS)

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American Record-Breaking NASA Astronaut Peggy Whitson Set to Return Back to Earth After 288-Days Space Mission

At the time of their landing, Whitson will have gathered a total of 665 days in space over the course of her career which is more than any American astronaut.

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Peggy Whitson
American record-holder NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson. Wikimedia
  • Nasa astronaut Peggy Whitson set to return back to Earth from International Space Station
  • The astronauts return after completing 288 days in space in Expedition 52
  • Peggy Whitson holds the record for the maximum time spend in space by an American astronaut

Washington, September 2, 2017 : NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson, who holds the record for maximum time spent in space by any American astronaut, is set to return to Earth on Saturday, completing a 288-day mission at the International Space Station.

Whitson and her Expedition 52 crewmates Jack Fischer of NASA and Fyodor Yurchikhin of the Russian space agency Roscosmos are scheduled to land in Kazakhstan at 9.22 p.m. EDT on Saturday (6.52 a.m. Sunday, India time).

At the time of their landing, she will have accrued a total of 665 days in space over the course of her career, more than any American astronaut, placing her eighth on the all-time space endurance list, NASA said.

Whitson’s return will mark the end of her third long-duration stay onboard the space station.

She launched on November 17 with 377 days in space already under her belt, and on April 24 broke Jeff Williams’ standing US record of 534 cumulative days in space.

Whitson also holds the record for most spacewalks by a female.

Yurchikhin and Fischer, who launched in April, will complete 136 days in space on their return. Yurchikhin will return to Earth with a total of 673 days in space on his five flights, putting him in seventh place on the all-time endurance list.

At the time of undocking, Expedition 53 will begin aboard the station under the command of Randy Bresnik.

Along with his crewmates Sergey Ryazanskiy of Roscosmos and Paolo Nespoli of ESA (European Space Agency), the three-person crew will operate the station until the arrival of three new crew members.

Mark Vande Hei and Joe Acaba of NASA and Alexander Misurkin of Roscosmos, are scheduled to launch on September 12 from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, NASA said. (IANS)

 

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