Olympus Mons

Olympus Mons ( /əˌlɪmpəs ˈmɒnz, ˌ-/;[4] Latin for Mount Olympus) is a large shield volcano on Mars. The volcano has a height of over 21.9 km (13.6 mi or 72,000 ft) as measured by the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA).[5] Olympus Mons is about two and a half times Mount Everest's height above sea level. It is the largest and highest mountain and volcano of the Solar System,[6][7][8] and is associated with the Tharsis Montes, a large volcanic region on Mars.[9][10][11]

Olympus Mons
Viking 1 orbiter view of Olympus Mons with its summit caldera, escarpment, and aureole
Coordinates18°39′N 226°12′E[1]
DimensionsLargest and tallest mountain in the Solar System
Peak21.9 km (13.6 mi) above datum[2]
26 km (16 mi) local relief above plains[3]
DiscovererMariner 9
EponymLatin – Mount Olympus

Olympus Mons is the youngest of the large volcanoes on Mars, having formed during Mars's Hesperian Period with eruptions continuing well into the Amazonian. It had been known to astronomers since the late 19th century as the albedo feature Nix Olympica (Latin for "Olympic Snow"). Its mountainous nature was suspected well before space probes confirmed its identity as a mountain.[12]

The volcano is located in Mars's western hemisphere, with the center at 18°39′N 226°12′E,[1] just off the northwestern edge of the Tharsis bulge. The western portion of the volcano lies in the Amazonis quadrangle (MC-8) and the central and eastern portions in the adjoining Tharsis quadrangle (MC-9).

Two impact craters on Olympus Mons have been assigned provisional names by the International Astronomical Union. They are the 15.6-kilometre-diameter (9.7 mi) Karzok crater (18°25′N 228°05′E) and the 10.4-kilometre-diameter (6.5 mi) Pangboche crater (17°10′N 226°25′E).[13] The craters are notable for being two of several suspected source areas for shergottites, the most abundant class of Martian meteorites.[14]


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