Cambridge Astronomical Association
Cambridge Young Astronomers


Speaker Meeting

New insights from our Closest Neighbour: Venus
Friday 16th April 2021
Start time : 20:00

Speaker : Dr. Phillipa Mason

From another solar system, current technology would reveal two Earth-like planets around our Sun, yet Venus could not be more hostile to life. Why is Venus so different to Earth and what are the implications for Earth-sized exoplanets? Inferences of volcanic activity from Venus Express have driven a reanalysis of Magellan and Venera data to transform our understanding of both Venus and Earth.

This talk will summarise our new insights and outline plans for a comprehensive investigation of our enigmatic neighbour.

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About our speaker:

Dr Philippa Mason is a field geologist who specialises in using satellite imagery to study rocks, minerals, geological structures and tectonics, on Earth and other planets. Her teaching and research at Imperial College London involves the translation of terrestrial techniques in Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) and imaging spectroscopy to assist in the understanding of geological features and processes on other Earth-like planets, such as Venus and Mars. She is currently on the Science Team of EnVision (, a truly international UK-led mission heading to Venus in 2032, aimed at understanding why it is so different to Earth, establishing whether it is tectonically active, and if it was ever hospitable to life.

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