The European Space Agency's (ESA) Venus Express mission has provided a great amount of data from the surface and atmosphere of Earth's inner twin planet. Among these observations was the mapping of the southern hemisphere of Venus in the near infrared spectral range using the VIRTIS (Visible and InfraRed Thermal Imaging Spectrometer) instrument.
To this day, continental drift has been responsible for changes to Earth’s surface. Venus, on the other hand, displays a motionless crust, but this was not always the case. Using simulations, planetary researchers at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) have now discovered that, in the past, the surface of Venus was probably quite hot, and consequently dynamic.