Today’s post is part of a special series that first appeared on Planet Pailly. Every Thursday, we take a look at a new and interesting scientific term to help us all expand our scientific vocabularies together. Today’s word is:
Global Resurfacing Event
Sometime between 300 and 600 million years ago, Venus experienced what scientists call a global resurfacing event.
It seems that all of a sudden, in some cataclysmic event, molten hot lava spread all over the planet’s surface, covering up pretty much everything. We know this because Venus’s surface, which has been mapped using radar altimetry, appears to be much younger than the planet itself, free of many of the impact crater blemishes we find on all the other terrestrial worlds in the Solar System.
What caused the global resurfacing event is a topic of heated debate (get it… heated!). Maybe this happened due to a really bad volcano day. Maybe some large object (Venus’s former moon?) collided with the planet. Maybe aliens bombarded Venus with planet crusher missiles… you know, as a warning to the dinosaurs. It’s also possible that Venus goes through periodic resurfacing events.
If this was a one time event, you have to wonder what Venus was like before it got resurfaced. If this is a recurring event, then it could be fun (as a science fiction writer) to speculate about what might happen when the next resurfacing event begins.
Craters on Venus from Universe Today.
Tectonics on Venus from Teach Astronomy.
Written by James Pailly.
To read all the articles in the ‘Sciency Words‘ series, visit the Planet Pailly blog.