24 января 2021  |  
8:14 PM  December 17, 2020

TSU will refine the map of Venus for the Roscosmos and NASA project

© РИА Томск. Павел СтефанскийTSU will refine the map of Venus for the Roscosmos and NASA project

TOMSK, Dec 17 – RIA Tomsk. Employees of the Faculty of Geology and Geography of Tomsk State University (TSU FGG) compile maps of the planet Venus, ten times larger than previously created; this is needed to select landing site for orbiter with sampling in the Venera-D research mission, which is being prepared by Roscosmos and NASA, an employee of the TSU press service told.

According to the press service of the university, Venera-D is a project of Roscosmos and NASA to send an orbiter and a lander to Venus to determine the composition of the surface material and understand the geological processes that formed the surface of this planet.

As Izvestia reported, scientists from the United States and Great Britain discovered traces of a colorless poisonous gas phosphine in the atmosphere of Venus. On Earth, it is released by microorganisms that do not require oxygen. Astronomers believe that microbes which give off this gas live in the clouds of Venus. The launch of a joint Russian-American interplanetary spacecraft to Venus is possible no earlier than 2027.

"The task of the international research group, which included Ekaterina Antropova, junior researcher of the TSU FGG Laboratory of Geochronology and Geodynamics and the 3rd year student of the FGG Carlos Braga is to create detailed maps of fragments of the surface of Venus, 10 times larger in scale than earlier studies", - the agency's interlocutor said.

© РИА Томск. Павел Стефанский
It is noted that this is a joint project of TSU and Carleton University (Canada). It will help, among other things, when choosing a future landing site for the orbiter with sampling.

"To do this, it is necessary to take into account the potential safety of the landing on a particular terrain, the representativeness of the materials, the potential simplicity and quality of the geochemical signal at the landing site, as well as the orbital limitations of the mission", - Antropova is quoted.

Currently, most of Venus is mapped on a exploratory scale - 1:10 000 000, 1:5 000 000. The planned regional mapping, according to the interlocutor of the agency, will be a scale of 1:500 000.

Multifaceted research

According to the press service, the study will also have implications for the exploration of land-based ore deposits that are associated with large igneous provinces (LIP) and for assessing their impact on the planet's climate change. Since the Earth and Venus are similar in size and some other characteristics, the processes taking place there can also be compared.

"It is acknowledged that the formation of LIPs on Earth had a significant impact on the climate, including the mass extinction of dinosaurs. There is an assumption that it was the LIPs that caused a sharp climate change on Venus as a result of CO2 emissions and the increasing greenhouse effect after large-scale volcanic eruptions, life may have disappeared there", - the representative of TSU said.

Since there are almost no erosion processes on the surface of Venus, scientists can observe and analyze structures similar to those on Earth in their primary form in the images, when the destructive force of wind, water and other agents has not yet disturbed the original appearance.

Scientists have already mapped several regions of Venus with multidirectional volcanic flows, areas of fields of shield volcanoes and entire large volcanic centers. The next stage of their work will be the demonstration of materials at an international industry conference, which is scheduled for March 2021 in the United States, the agency's interlocutor summed up.

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