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My February birthday fund-raising campaign for Behind the Black it now over. I sincerely and with deep gratitude thank all those who donated. Without your support I could not keep doing this, not so much because of the need for income to pay the bills, but because it tells me that there are people out there who want me to do this work. For those who did not contribute during the campaign, please consider adding your vote of support to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, in any one of the following ways:


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Another study finds evidence of active volcanism on Venus

Changes in volcanic vent on Venus over eight months
Click for original image.

Using archival data from the Magellan spacecraft that orbited Venus in the early 1990s scientists think they have identified an active vent that appeared to change shape based on radar images taken eight months apart.

From the abstract of their paper:

We examine volcanic areas on Venus that were imaged two or three times by Magellan and identify a ~2.2 km2 volcanic vent that changed shape in the eight months between two radar images. Additional volcanic flows downhill from the vent are visible in the second epoch images, though we cannot rule out that they were present but invisible in the first epoch due to differences in imaging geometry. We interpret these results as ongoing volcanic activity on Venus.

This result is different that other research released last month that used Magellan data to identify geological features on Venus most likely to be active. In today’s results the scientists think they have spotted an actual volcanic eruption, as shown in the two images to the right. The image is taken from Figure 2 of the paper, with the changes in the center bottom vent clearly visible.

There is much uncertainty in these results that must be mentioned. The images are not optical but radar, so the scientists had to do a lot of computer processing to get the final result. They also compared this work with computer simulations to help confirm their conclusions.

The results also leave open the question of the total amount of volcanism presently active on Venus. As the scientists note in their conclusion, “With only one changed feature, we cannot determine how common currently active volcanism is on Venus.”

Nonetheless, the research using both new and archival data in the past thirty years is increasingly telling us that there is some active volcanism on Venus, hidden beneath its thick hellish cloudy atmosphere.

Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!


From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.


“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.


All editions are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors, with the ebook priced at $5.99 before discount. The ebook can also be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95; Shipping cost for either: $5.00). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.


  • TallDave

    not sure we can assume vulcanism, metal snow seems more likely (it’s been reported before)

    we have a lot to learn about conditions at 90 atmospheres and 800 degrees

  • GaryMike

    As in everyday life, in Science all facts are malleable.

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