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Scientists from the Hindu University of Benares in a global research team on the planet Venus

A team from the Hindu University of Benares (BHU) in the Department of Geology is involved in research on the planet Venus through the geological mapping of its surface for different magmatic units, including volcanic flows and dykes; tectonic units, including major rift zones; and their connection to mantle plumes, according to a statement from the university. The BHU team is also assessing the impact of volcanic activity on its climate.

Research to study the surface of Venus, according to the university’s statement, is being conducted by the International Venus Research Group which includes teams from Canada, the United States, Russia, Morocco and India. This global team of researchers is led by Dr. Richard Ernst of Tomsk State University, Russia; and co-directed by Dr. Hafida El Bilali of Carleton University, Canada, and Dr. James Head (Brown University, USA).






The BHU team is coordinated by Prof. Rajesh K Srivastava and under the scientific direction of Dr. Ernst and Dr. El Bilali. According to the university’s statement, the other members of the BHU team include Dr. Amiya Kumar Samal (assistant professor) and two PhD students Harshita Singh and Twinkle Chaddha. The university provides for broad student participation.

It is the only team in India that is involved in such futuristic research, the university said.

“The BHU group will help identify magmatic/volcanic activities recorded on Venus, which is crucial because Venus is very similar to Earth in size and internal structure, but also has a number of differences,” he added. .

While the main difference, according to the BHU statement, is that there is no plate tectonic activity on Venus, the atmosphere is 96% carbon dioxide, which is 90 times denser than Earth’s atmosphere, and the surface temperature is 450 degrees Celsius, there are also some similarities between the two. Similarities between Earth and Venus include dyke swarms, volcanic flows, volcanoes and all of these could be related to plumes recorded from Earth as well, notably present in the Indian Shield.

“The BHU team’s research is also relevant to the fleet of missions planned to explore Venus over the next decade (i.e. NASA’s VERITAS and DAVINCI, Europe’s EnVision, Venera-D from Russia and Shukrayaan-1 from India). The research of the BHU team can contribute to the scientific targeting of all these Venus missions and can potentially lead to direct involvement in the mission,” the statement added.

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