10 Tallest Mountains in the Solar System

Looking our planet, into the solar system there are many mountains, peaks and ridges way taller than the mountains on the planet Earth. These extraterrestrial mountains may be a result of crater impact, high volcanic activity etc., none of which we would want happening in our home planet. Which is the tallest mountain in our Solar System? See below…

10. Cho Oyu

Cho Oyu is the sixth highest mountain in the world at 8,201 m (26,906 ft) above sea level. Cho Oyu means «Turquoise Goddess» in Tibetan. The mountain is the westernmost major peak of the Khumbu sub-section of the Mahalangur Himalaya 20 km (12.4 mi) west of Mount Everest. The mountain stands on the China-Nepal border.

9. Makalu

Makalu is the fifth highest mountain in the world at 8,485 m (27,838 ft). It is located in the Mahalangur Himalayas 19 km (11.8 mi) southeast of Mount Everest, on the border between Nepal and China. One of the eight-thousanders, Makalu is an isolated peak whose shape is a four-sided pyramid.

8. Lhotse

Lhotse is the fourth highest mountain in the world at 8,516 m (27,940 ft), after Mount Everest, K2, and Kangchenjunga. Part of the Everest massif, Lhotse is connected to the latter peak via the South Col. Lhotse means «South Peak» in Tibetan. In addition to the main summit at 8,516 m (27,940 ft) above sea level, the mountain comprises the smaller peaks Lhotse Middle (East) at 8,414 m (27,605 ft), and Lhotse Shar at 8,383 m (27,503 ft). The summit is on the border between Tibet (China) and the Khumbu region of Nepal.

7. Kangchenjunga

Kangchenjunga is the third highest mountain in the world, and lies partly in Nepal and partly in Sikkim,India. It rises with an elevation of 8,586 m (28,169 ft) in a section of the Himalayas called Kangchenjunga Himal that is limited in the west by the Tamur River, in the north by the Lhonak Chu and Jongsang La, and in the east by the Teesta River.

6. K2

K2, also known as Chhogori/Qogir, Ketu/Kechu, and Mount Godwin-Austen is the second highest mountain in the world, after Mount Everest, at 8,611 m (28,251 ft) above sea level. It is located on the China-Pakistan border, between Baltistan, in the Gilgit–Baltistan region of northern Pakistan, and the Taxkorgan Tajik Autonomous County of Xinjiang, China. K2 is the highest point of the Karakoram range and the highest point in Pakistan.

5. Everest

Mount Everest, also known in Nepal as Sagarmāthā and in Tibet as Chomolungma, is Earth’s highest mountain. It is located in the Mahalangur mountain range in Nepal and Tibet. Its peak is 8,848 m (29,029 ft) above sea level. The international border between China (Tibet Autonomous Region) and Nepal runs across Everest’s precise summit point.

4. Maxwell Montes

Maxwell Montes is a mountain massif on the planet Venus, of which a peak (Skadi Mons) is the highest point on the planet’s surface. Located on Ishtar Terra, the more northern of the planet’s two major highlands, Maxwell Montes is 11 km (6.8 mi) high. It rises about 6.4 km (4 mi) above and to the east of Lakshmi Planum, and is about 853 km (530 mi) long by 700 km (435 mi) wide. The western slopes are very steep, whereas the eastern slopes descend gradually into Fortuna Tessera.

The Maxwell Montes was discovered in 1967 by scientists at the American Arecibo Radio Telescope in Puerto Rico. The mountain is named after the mathematician and physician James Clerk Maxwell, whose works in radio waves made the radar and ultimately resulted in the exploration of the surface of planet Venus.

3. Boösaule Montes

Boösaule Montes is known to be the tallest non-volcanic mountain of the Solar System. It is located at Io, the fourth largest satellite of the Solar System and innermost satellite of the planet Jupiter. The geology of Io is quite interesting as it contains about 400 active volcanoes and contains over 150 mountains on its surface. The Boösaule Montes is one such mountain that lies on the northwest of the large Pele plume deposit and reaches an elevation of 17.5 km (10.9 mi). The mountain got its name from a cave in the Greek Mythology where Epaphus, son of Zeus, was born.

2. Equatorial Ridge

Located on the dark hemisphere of the third largest satellite, Iapetus, of the planet Saturn, the Equatorial Ridge runs along the center of the hemisphere with some isolated peaks as high as 20 km (12.4 mi). The Equatorial Ridge was discovered by Cassini spacecraft on December 31, 2004. The formation of the ridge is still debated upon; however, it is agreed that the ridge is ancient as it is heavily cratered. The prominent bulge of the ridge gives Iapetus a walnut like shape.

1. Olympus Mons

Olympus Mons (Latin for Mount Olympus) is a very large shield volcano on the planet Mars. By one measure, it has a height of nearly 24 km (14.9 mi). Olympus Mons stands almost three times as tall as Mount Everest’s height above sea level. It is the youngest of the large volcanoes on Mars, having formed during Mars’s Amazonian Period. It is currently the largest volcano discovered in the Solar System and had been known to astronomers since the late 19th century as the albedo feature Nix Olympica (Latin for «Olympic Snow»). Its mountainous nature was suspected well before space probes confirmed its identity as a mountain.

The volcano is located in Mars’s western hemisphere, just off the northwestern edge of the Tharsis bulge and the eastern edge of Amazonis Planitia. A wide, annular depression or moat about 2 km (1.2 mi) deep surrounds the base of Olympus Mons and is thought to be due to the volcano’s immense weight pressing down on the Martian crust.

Olympus Mons and a few other volcanoes in the Tharsis region stand high enough to reach above the frequent Martian dust-storms recorded by telescopic observers as early as the 19th century. The astronomer Patrick Moore pointed out that Schiaparelli (1835–1910) «had found that his Nodus Gordis and Olympic Snow [Nix Olympica] were almost the only features to be seen» during dust storms, and «guessed correctly that they must be high».

The Mariner 9 spacecraft arrived in orbit around Mars in 1971 during a global dust-storm. The first objects to become visible as the dust began to settle, the tops of the Tharsis volcanoes, demonstrated that the altitude of these features greatly exceeded that of any mountain found on Earth, as astronomers expected. Observations of the planet from Mariner 9 confirmed that Nix Olympica was not just a mountain, but a volcano. Ultimately, astronomers adopted the name Olympus Mons for the albedo feature known as Nix Olympica.

The extraordinary height of the Olympus Mons owes to the absence of mobile tectonic plates, allowing the mountain to remain fixed on a stationary hotspot and continues discharging lava till the mountain reaches a considerable height.

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