Earth is not the only planet that has volcanoes. Mars does, too! The largest one is named, Olympus Mons.
The difference between Earth’s volcanoes and Mars is Olympus Mons is GIGANTIC!
Check out these fun facts on Olympus Mons.
Did you know?
- Olympus Mons is 374 miles across. That’s the size of all of Arizona.
- This martian volcano stands 16 miles high, or triple the height of Mount Everest, the tallest mountain on Earth.
- In comparison, the largest volcano on Earth is Mauna Loa. Mauna Loa is a shield volcano and is 6.3 miles high and 75 miles across.
- Volcanoes on Mars can reach enormous sizes. This is because the gravity is much weaker on the Red Planet than on Earth.
Another reason why volcanoes on Mars get so massive is that the crust on Mars doesn’t move the way it does on Earth.
On Earth, the hot spots remain stationary, but Earth’s crustal plates are still moving above them.
The Hawaiian islands were formed by the movement of the Pacific plate over lava. As the plate moves over this hotspot, new volcanoes are formed. When this happens, the existing ones become extinct, and all that lava flows into the other volcanoes.
On Mars, the crust remains stationary, and the lava piles up in one, huge volcano.
What do you think of Olympus Mons? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section.
We’d “lava” to hear from you!