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Top 10 mountains in the Solar System © Getty

Top 10: Tallest mountains in the Solar System

Published: 01st May, 2021 at 04:00
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Spoiler: this list does not feature a single mountain from planet Earth.

Here’s a question for you: what’s the tallest mountain on Earth? Although most people might say Nepal’s Mount Everest, you could also answer Mauna Kea or Mauna Loa in Hawaii. With 4.2km of their heights submerged underwater, these twin volcanoes actually measure a whole 10.2km top-to-bottom – taller than Mount Everest's 4.6km.

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But here’s the thing: all of these mountains are tiny compared to the rest of the Solar System. In fact, Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa don’t even make it into the top 10 tallest mountains in the Solar System (measured from base to highest point). Instead, that list looks like this:

10. Euboea Montes

Illustration of Io orbiting Jupiter © Getty
Illustration of Io orbiting Jupiter © Getty

Location: Io, Moon of Jupiter

Height: 10km

9. Oberon peak

Location: Oberon, Moon of Uranus

Height:11km

8. Ionian Mon

Location: Io, Moon of Jupiter

Height: 12.7km

7. Pavonis Mons

Location: Mars

Height: 14km

6. Elysium Mons

Location: Mars

Height: 14.1km

5. Arsia Mons

Location: Mars

Height: 17.7km

4 Boösaule Mons

Location: Io, Moon of Jupiter

Height: 17.2km - 17.8km

3. Ascraeus Mons 

Location: Mars

Height: 18.km

2. Rheasilvia peak

vesta asteroid © Getty
An illustration of the vesta asteroid as it passes past Mars © Getty

Location: Vesta astreroid

Height: 20-25km (potentially making this the Solar System's number one tallest mountain)

1. Olympus Mons

Olympus Mon © Getty
An illustration of Olympus Mons © Getty

Location: Mars

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Height: 21km

Authors

Thomas Ling
Thomas LingStaff Writer, BBC Science Focus

Thomas is a Staff Writer at BBC Science Focus and looks after all things Q&A. Writing about everything from cosmology to anthropology, he specialises in the latest psychology and neuroscience discoveries. Thomas has a Masters degree (distinction) in Magazine Journalism from the University of Sheffield and has written for Men’s Health, Vice and Radio Times. He has been shortlisted as the New Digital Talent of the Year at the national magazine Professional Publishers Association (PPA) awards.

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