The Physics
An encyclopedia of scientific essays

Altitude of the Highest Point on Mars

search icon
Bibliographic Entry Result
(w/surrounding text)
Chaisson, Eric. The Universe. Engelwood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1993. "Olympus Mons, the largest volcano known on Mars, or anywhere else in the Solar System. Nearly three times taller than Mount Everest on Earth, This Martian Mountain measures about 700 km across the base and extends 25 km at the peak." 25 km
Sheehan, William. The Planet Mars. Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press, 1954. "The shield of Olympus Mons, though it rises 25 km above the surrounding plains, is 800 km across at the base, So that the slope is very steep, only about 6 degrees." 25 km
Booth, Nicholas. Exploring The Solar System. Cambridge University Press, 1995. "The largest suitably christened Olympus Mons after the home of the Greek Gods, was 27 km high and 700 km across". 27 km
Raeburn, Paul. Uncovering The Secret of the Red Planet. Washington, DC: National Geographic Society, 1998. "It rises nearly 17 miles (27 km) high, and measures about 400 miles (over 600 km) in diameter." 27 km

Mars, the fourth planet from the sun, is home to the largest known mountain in the solar system. Located at longitude 130° west, latitude 20° north, Olympus Mons is named after the home of the Ancient Greek Gods -- Mount Olympus. Its is composed of what is probably the youngest surface on Mars. It has a very gradual slope of only 6 degrees, mainly because of its giant diameter -- almost 700 kilometers across. "Its wide diameter can cover the state of Arizona!"Giovanni Virginio Schiaparelli discovered Olympus Mons, which he christened Nix Olympica (the snow of Olympus), on November 10, 1879. Schiaparelli noticed snow veins on the mountain. Snow clouds always surround Olympus Mons. Schiaparelli, director of the Brera observatory, found Olympus Mons in the Tharsis region of Mars. The Tharsis region is home to the largest mountains in the solar system, ranging in height from eight to ten kilometers each. Olympus Mons being the youngest of these volcanoes has had eruptions long after the cooling of the planet's interior had extinguished active volcanism elsewhere. The most recent eruption may have occurred about 300 million years ago.

Kevin Sookdeo -- 2001