Saturday, May 18, 2013

Olympus Mons | The highest known mountain in our solar system

Olympus Mons
Olympus Mons is the largest and the tallest known shield volcano(volcano which is almost entirely built of fluid lava flows) and mountain in our solar system. This gigantic mountain is in the red planet Mars. Olympus Mons is located in Mars's western hemisphere.

Olympus Mons
Olympus Mons
Olympus Mons height nearly 27km above the surface of Mars and 624km wide.It gets its name from Mt. Olympus, which was home of the Greek Gods. Olympus Mons is as wide as the state of Arizona and almost 3 times taller than Mt. Everest. The Hawaii Island, Maui would fit inside its huge caldera.

The main reason for it being large, could be the lower surface gravity in Mars accompanied by the higher eruption rates. This could be why there are many volcanoes in Mars which are more than 10 times the size of the volcanoes in Earth. Another reason could be the fact that the crust doesn't move in Mars which is different to Earth where the plates move. This means that the lava piles up to form a huge volcano whereas in Earth the lava will be used to make new volcanoes rather than making the same volcano bigger as the plates move.

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