The 9 Tallest Mountains In The Solar System

9 Tallest Mountains in the Solar System

Of course, when you think of the tallest mountain ever you’re going to probably think of Mount Everest with its peak of a little over 29,000 feet (5.5 miles).  But when you  look at Mt. Everest in comparison with some of the other mountains in our Solar System it won’t even make the list.  Let’s look at some of the Solar System’s tallest mountains as measured from the base to the peak.

#9 – Arsia Mons, Mars – less than 9 km (5.6 mi)

Arsia Mons

Arsia Mons of Mars

Arsia Mons on Mars has a diameter of 270 miles and from base to peak hits 12 miles high. Not only that but at the summit of this mountain the diameter is still 72 miles wide.

Except for Olympus Mons it is the biggest volcano by volume and has 30 times the volume of Mauna Loa in Hawaii.

As of 2007, seven putative cave entrances, have been identified in satellite imagery of the flanks of Arsia Mons.  They have been informally dubbed Dena, Chloë, Wendy, Annie, Abbey, Nikki, and Jeanne and resemble “skylights” formed by the collapse of lava tube ceilings.

The southwest flank is the location of a significant portion of the science-fiction novel ‘Ringclimber’ by Mark Chapman. .

#8 – Mauna Kea, Earth – 10,2 km (6.3 mi)

Mauna Kea the 8th tallest mountain in the solar system

Mauna Kea has an altitude of 2.6 miles but is actually 6.2 miles tall.

Mauna Kea has an altitude of about 2.6 miles which is much lower than Mount Everest’s 5.5 miles.  However, if you measure it from its base the entire mountain is actually 6.2 miles tall.

Mauna Kea is actually an island and if you measured it from its base to it’s peak it’s actually tallerthan Mount Everest.

Mauna Kea’s summit is actually one of the best places for observatories.  The air surrounding the summit is extremely dry and stable.  The peak is also above the inversion layer which means the could coverage is below the summit.

The exceptionally dark skies at Mauna Kea’s summit is perfect for stargazing. .


#7 – Pavonis Mons, Mars – 11 km (6.8 mi)

Pavonis Mons

At 6.8 miles high, Pavonis Mons is the the 7th largest mountain in the Solar System.

Pavonis Mons is a large shield volcano located in the Tharsis region of the planet Mars and was discovered by Mariner 9 in 1971.

Meaning “the peacock mountain,” it is a shield volcano and the height from the base to the peak is 6.8 miles.

It has a very low slope that only averages about 4 degrees and at its summit there is a 3 mile deep caldera.

If you’re a fan of the band The Flaming Lips you might recognize the name from the song “Approaching Pavonis Mons by Balloon (Utopia Planitia)”

Also, the Pavonis Mons is the site of the city of Sheffield in Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars Trilogy of novels. Sheffield stands at the base of Mars’s space elevator. . .

#6 – Elysium Mons, Mars – 13,9 km (7.8 mi)

Elysium Mons

The 7.8 miles high Elysium Mons is similar to Earth’s Emi Koussi but 6 times higher.

Elysium Mons was also discovered by the orbiting Mariner 9 but in 1972.  It stands in the surrounding lava plains in Mars’ eastern hemisphere and has a diameter at its base of 149 miles.

At the bottom of Elysium Mons are two other volcanoes: Hecates Tholus to the north, and Albor Tholus to the south.

Elysium Mons resides on the Elysium Planitia and in 2005 a photo taken by the Mars Express spacecraft showed what could be ash-covered water ice.  The ice is thought to be the remains of water floods from the Cerberus Fossae fissures about 2 to 10 million years ago.