Giant Volcano the Size of Mount Everest Is Discovered on Mars

Diagram Showing The Location Of The Giant Mars Volcano

Photo: (Background image) NASA/USGS Mars globe. Geologic interpretation and annotations by Pascal Lee and Sourabh Shubham 2024.

According to recent findings, there is a huge volcano the size of Mount Everest on the surface of Mars with a thick layer of glacial ice at its base. It is located near the Martian equator, in the rocky terrain of the Tharsis volcanic province. As its name might suggest, the area is rife with volcanic activity, and this newly discovered volcano is one of three that have already been identified in the region.

The volcano has an elevation of 29,600 feet, making it taller than Mount Everest, which stands at 29,032 feet. It is also approximately 280 miles wide, which is about as long as the state of Colorado is from North to South. Because of its size, the volcano has likely been active for a long time.

Even though several rovers have been exploring Mars in both the past and present, this volcano wasn't discovered until earlier this year. This may be due to the severe erosion on the volcano's surface, which has made it beyond easy recognition over the years. NASA’s SETI team states, “Imaged repeatedly by orbiting spacecraft around Mars since Mariner 9 in 1971—but deeply eroded beyond easy recognition, the giant volcano had been hiding in plain sight for decades in one of Mars’ most iconic regions, at the boundary between the heavily fractured maze-like Noctis Labyrinthus (Labyrinth of the Night) and the monumental canyons of Valles Marineris (Valleys of Mariner)”

The discovery of this volcano, especially the thick layer of ice at its base, could hold exciting truths for researchers and others interested in the history of the Red Planet. “Its discovery points to an exciting new place to search for life,” the SETI team explains, “and a potential destination for future robotic and human exploration.”

A giant active volcano has been discovered on the surface of Mars that is taller than Mount Everest.

Giant Volcano on Mars

Photo: Background image: NASA Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) digital elevation model. Geologic interpretation & annotations by Pascal Lee and Sourabh Shubham 2024.

Giant Volcano on Mars

Photo: Background images: NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) Context Camera (CTX) mosaic and Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) digital elevation model. Geologic interpretation & annotations by Pascal Lee & Sourabh Shubham 2024.

h/t: [Interesting Engineering]

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Sarah Currier

Sarah Currier is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met. Based in central Iowa, she is currently enrolled at Iowa State University and is working toward a BA in Journalism and Mass Communication with a minor in English. She loves all things creative, and when she’s not writing, you can find her immersed in the worlds of television, film, and literature.
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