Venus: cloudy with a chance of earthquakes at 6pm

Iris van Zelst
Iris van Zelst, Geophysicist
Iris van Zelst
Start Date
End Date

The Royal Astronomical Society is pleased to announce that our Public Talks for the 2023-24 season will take place at Burlington House at 1pm and 6pm. Please check the schedule as some talks will be online-only due to speaker availability.

This talk is a hybrid event and is free and open to the public and will take place at Burlington House and online at 1pm and 6pm.


To register for the 6pm public talk with Dr Iris van Zelst at Burlington House or online please go here.

For information and registration for the 1pm talk please go here.


Venus is Earth’s sister planet due to their similarity in size and mass. Apart from that, however, the two planets are wildly different, with surface temperatures on Venus that easily melt lead and a surface pressure like the bottom of Earth’s ocean. Additionally, Venus is completely covered in clouds; obscuring its surface and shrouding the entire planet in mystery. 

What is its interior structure? Is there some form of plate tectonics? Is Venus currently volcanically active? Are there earthquakes - or indeed: venusquakes? 

In the coming decades we can start answering these questions with data from the multiple missions that will fly to Venus. In this talk, Iris will convince you that Venus is one of the most interesting planets in our Solar System and she will present many ways in which we explore this fascinating planet.




About our speaker:

Dr. Iris van Zelst is a postdoctoral research fellow at the German Aerospace Center and the Technical University of Berlin in Germany. She studies the geophysics of Earth and Venus and is particularly fascinated by the geodynamics and seismology of those planets. Previously, Iris worked as a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Leeds. She obtained her PhD from ETH Zürich in Switzerland in 2020 on her research on tsunamigenic earthquakes after a BSc and MSc in Earth Sciences and Geophysics from Utrecht University in the Netherlands. Besides research, Iris is also currently developing the educational game QUARTETnary about the geological time scale.


Link for the educational game QUARTETnary: 




Venue Address

The Royal Astronomical Society,Burlington House


51.5085763, -0.13960799999995