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Named after the Roman God of war Mars has sparked and sustained curiosity than any other planet in our solar system Astronomers and Geologist have studied the surface of Mars dating back to 1965 when Mariner 4 swept by the planet Photographs of the planet showed a barren surface scarred by numerous craters It wasnt until 1976 that scientist got their first glimpse of the Martian Landscape from its surface As we take a closer look at Mars we may find many similarities as well as differences compared to our planet earthMars may be considered one of the smallest terrestrial planets but it has some of the largest volcanic and tectonic features in the solar system The largest volcano on Mars and largest recorded in our solar system is Olympus Mons Know to Geologist as a shield volcano Olympus Mons is 15 miles above the surrounding planes and 16 miles above Martian topographic datum The central caldera is roughly 55 miles across and the steep cliffs at the base of the volcano are 35 miles high On a geological scale Olympus Mons bears the scars of very few meteorite impacts indicating that it is a young volcano Geologists estimate the last eruption may have been as recent as 100 million years ago Olympus Mons is almost wide enough to cover Spain and has enough congealed lava to make the island of Hawaii a hundred times over The amount of lava and its rate of flow to create Olympus Mons may have been 10 to 100 times greater than any volcano on earth Olympus Mons is located in the Tharsis Rise The Tharsis Rise is the division between the highland and lowland and has the greatest concentration of volcanoes on Mars Although Olympus Mons is the showpiece of Marss volcanoes it is far from unique The widest volcano on Mars is Alba Patera The Alba Patera is roughly 1600 kilometers across and is the source of
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