|Source: By Lunar and planetary inst.|
Undoubtedly, volcanoes are, and shall remain pretty awesome features. They are scary, looming and spit forth so hot a fire that melts the very ground into a gooey pool of sorts. With a look from too high a perch, you get a sense on the way Mother Nature can mean to be destructively chaotic.
Tidbit 4: Mars’ Olympus Mons
Olympus Mons is known to many people as the tallest mountain in the whole universe. Its actual size is still riddled in mystery. Towering at 25.7 kilometers high (almost 3 times that of Mt. Everest), Olympus Mons is nothing short of a Martian monolith. Imagine, its base area is slightly under the total land space of the state of Arizona in the US.
In spite of its scary, massive height to behold, it would be extremely easy to climb it as it only inclines at a gentle gradient of 5 degrees. Do you have an idea how it derived such a gigantic size? It is known that the formation of volcanoes on Earth is due to cooling lava that emerges from underground hot spots. Conversely, Mars doesn’t experience much of tectonic motions; implying that these hot spots did not shear to a different location. Instead, the lava kept accumulating on the same spot over and again resulting in such a beastly mountain-Olympus. Unlike Mount Everest, ascending the Olympus at its 5 degree incline would have been very easy indeed. Studies show that Olympus volcano is extremely heavy, so much so that it actually sinks into the Martian ground thus, creating a peculiar moat around its base perimeter.
Tidbit 3: Pillan Patera Lo
There is no more desirable location to go as far as space volcanoes are concerned than the moon of Jupiter-lo. Lo is Jupiter’s moon, though comparatively small (same size as our moon), lo is host to a myriad of insane volcanic activity. Studies indicate that the volcanic riddles on Jupiter’s satellite are as explosive as they are destructively awesome. In 1997, in one of lo’s craters known as Pillan Patera, a spine-chilling cataclysmic explosion took place. The explosion sent temperatures spiraling up to 160 degrees Celsius over its surface while volcanic clouds spiked more than 140 kilometers high. When it settled, the volcanic mess covered an area larger than the entire territorial boundary of Greece. The Pillan Patera volcanic eruption remains so far the largest and most devastating event ever to occur. Although the aftereffects are somehow faded, they are still vividly evident to date.
Tidbit 2: Moon of Neptune
In spite of its distance from the Sun-2.7 Billion miles-a lot is known about Neptune’s biggest satellite (moon).This moon, Triton as it is called bears a surface that’s completely frozen. This might as well suggest that Triton is host to cryovolcanic menace. According to observations by Voyager 2, this moon harbors numerous geysers, all of which are arrayed in a band across its entire surface. It was established that the regions with geyser’s bands enjoy more warmth from the Sun; more or less like the Earth’s Equatorial region. Gauging from its huge distance, there surely couldn’t be much sunlight there, safe for some solar radiations that would up its temperature by a couple of degrees. These solar radiations would be sufficient enough to trigger pressure gradients that’s needed for geysers. What makes these geysers unique is the fact that they unleash out nitrogen gas continuously for about one year-one at a time.
Tidbit 1: Pancake Domes on Venus
|Source: By Lunar Planetary Inst.|
Venus-Earth’s sister planet or teenage sister is usually referred to as the second rock from the Sun. Venus is not habitable, volatile and tricky to fully understand. It is home to 1,600 volcanoes while its surface is over 85% volcanic lava plains. Most of the volcanoes are not to be compared with our conventional lava-spitting hills.
The unusul features, only seen on Venus are the pancake domes. Typically they rise to about a kilometer in height and span around 22 kilometer in width. Experts opine that these domes could have been formed courtesy of highly viscous lava that spewed over evenly because of the planet’s high pressure. These pancake domes are often found grouped in clusters.