Quick hit post from beautiful Walnut, Iowa, but this was too interesting to pass up...


Bright plume spotted on Venus, image taken by the ESA Venus Express.

Did a volcanic eruption recently occur on Venus? No one really knows, but a bright plume of unknown material was spotted by an amateur astronomer. One possible source for this plume might be a volcanic eruption. In the first articles, it was dismissed by "experts" because it is believed that Venus mostly has effusive (lava flow) eruptions not explosive eruptions that form big ash-laden plumes. However, basaltic eruptions on Earth (as it is presumed to occur on Venus) do release a lot of volcanic aerosols - possible more than classical explosive eruptions. Laki in Iceland had just such an eruption in 1783 ... just something to ponder when more information on the Venutian plume rolls in.