Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

The Mountains of Mars
Picture Credit: NASA,Viking Project

Explanation: Volcanic activity on Mars has produced towering mountains. The largest one, Olympus Mons, is pictured here in this Viking Orbiter image. Olympus Mons is a shield volcano nearly 15 miles high and over 300 miles wide at its base. By comparison, Earth's largest volcano, Mauna Loa in Hawaii, is just over 5 miles high and about 12 miles wide.

For more information about volcanic mountains on Mars see the `Views of the Solar System' Mars page.

The exploration of Mars is chronicled by the Centre For Mars Exploration.

Tomorrow's picture: Grand Canyon of Mars

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC
&: Michigan Tech. U.