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.

2000 May 29

Olympus Mons Volcano on Mars
Credit: Mars Global Surveyor Project, MSSS, JPL, NASA

Explanation: Scroll right to virtually climb the largest volcano in the Solar System. Olympus Mons on Mars measures three times higher than Earth's highest mountain, and has a volume over fifty times greater than Earth's largest volcano. The caldera at the top is over 70 kilometers wide. The low gravity and relatively static surface crust on Mars allows structures as large as Olympus Mons to form. Surrounding the volcano is a cliff that ranges up to 10 kilometers high. This black & white image is one of over 20,000 just-released images taken by the robot spacecraft Mars Global Surveyor that continues to orbit Mars.

Tomorrow's picture: A Very Large Radio

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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.