Contact: Mary Hardin


A new image from NASA’s Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft,
currently orbiting Mars, shows a close-up view across the summit
of Olympus Mons, the largest volcano known in our solar system.

Olympus Mons is not an active volcano and the image shows
that the area around the summit is covered by fine dust and
pocked by small impact craters. It is roughly the height of
three Mount Everests and is nearly 550 kilometers (340 miles)
across. Despite its great height, the slopes of this volcano are
only a few degrees — a person would not really climb Olympus
Mons, but simply walk uphill toward its summit.

The Global Surveyor image is available at,,
or .

Mars Global Surveyor is managed by the Jet Propulsion
Laboratory for NASA’s Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C.
JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology,