List of tallest mountains in the Solar System
This is a list of the tallest mountains in the Solar System. This list includes peaks on all celestial bodies where significant mountains have been detected. For some celestial bodies, different peaks are given across different types of measurement. The solar system's tallest mountain is the central peak of Rheasilvia on the asteroid Vesta, estimated at up to 25 km from peak to base. Among the terrestrial planets the tallest mountain is Olympus Mons on Mars, at 21.9 km.
Heights are given from base to peak (although a precise definition for mean base level is lacking). Peak elevations above sea level are only available on Earth, and possibly Titan. On other worlds, peak elevations above an equipotential surface or a reference ellipsoid could be used if enough data is available for the calculation, but this is often not the case.
|World||Tallest peak(s)||Base-to-peak height||% of radius[n 1]||Origin||Notes|
|Mercury||Caloris Montes||≤ 3 km (1.9 mi)||0.12||impact||Formed by the Caloris impact|
|Venus||Skadi Mons (Maxwell Montes massif)||6.4 km (4.0 mi) (11 km above mean)||0.11||tectonic||Has radar-bright slopes due to metallic Venus snow, possibly lead sulfide|
|Maat Mons||4.9 km (3.0 mi) (approx.)||0.081||volcanic||Highest volcano on Venus|
|Earth[n 2]||Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa||10.2 km (6.3 mi)||0.16||volcanic||4.2 km (2.6 mi) of this is above sea level|
|Haleakalā||9.1 km (5.7 mi)||0.14||volcanic||Rises 3.1 km above sea level|
|Pico del Teide||7.5 km (4.7 mi)||0.12||volcanic||Rises 3.7 km above sea level|
|Denali||5.3 to 5.9 km (3.3 to 3.7 mi)||0.093||tectonic||Tallest mountain base-to-peak on land[n 3]|
|Mount Everest||3.6 to 4.6 km (2.2 to 2.9 mi)||0.072||tectonic||4.6 km on north face, 3.6 km on south face;[n 4] highest elevation (8.8 km) above sea level, as well as by wet and dry prominence (but not among the tallest from base to peak, and in distance to Earth's center Mt Chimborazo rises highest).|
|Moon[n 5]||Mons Huygens||5.5 km (3.4 mi)||0.32||impact||Formed by the Imbrium impact. Not highest lunar peak by prominence, which would be Selenean summit.|
|Mons Hadley||4.5 km (2.8 mi)||0.26||impact||Formed by the Imbrium impact|
|Mons Rümker||1.3 km (0.81 mi)||0.063||volcanic||Largest volcanic construct on the Moon|
|Mars||Olympus Mons||21.9 km (14 mi)[n 6]||0.65||volcanic||Rises 26 km above northern plains, (dry prominence) 1000 km away. Summit calderas are 60 x 80 km wide, up to 3.2 km deep; scarp around margin is up to 8 km high. A shield volcano, the mean flank slope is a modest 5.2 degrees.|
|Ascraeus Mons||14.9 km (9.3 mi)||0.44||volcanic||Tallest of the three Tharsis Montes|
|Elysium Mons||12.6 km (7.8 mi)||0.37||volcanic||Highest volcano in Elysium|
|Arsia Mons||11.7 km (7.3 mi)||0.35||volcanic||Summit caldera is 108 to 138 km (67 to 86 mi) across|
|Pavonis Mons||8.4 km (5.2 mi)||0.25||volcanic||Summit caldera is 4.8 km (3.0 mi) deep|
|Anseris Mons||6.2 km (3.9 mi)||0.18||impact||Among the highest nonvolcanic peaks on Mars, formed by the Hellas impact|
|Aeolis Mons ("Mount Sharp")||4.5 to 5.5 km (2.8 to 3.4 mi)[n 7]||0.16||deposition and erosion[n 8]||Formed from deposits in Gale crater; the MSL rover has been ascending it since November 2014.|
|Vesta||Rheasilvia central peak||20–25 km (12–16 mi; 66,000–82,000 ft)[n 9]||8.4||impact||Almost 200 km (120 mi) wide. See also: List of largest craters in the Solar System|
|Ceres||Ahuna Mons||4 km (2.5 mi)||0.85||cryovolcanic||Isolated steep-sided dome in relatively smooth area; max. height of ~ 5 km on steepest side; roughly antipodal to largest impact basin on Ceres|
|Io||Boösaule Montes "South"||17.5 to 18.2 km (10.9 to 11.3 mi)||1.0||tectonic||Has a 15 km (9 mi) high scarp on its SE margin|
|Ionian Mons east ridge||12.7 km (7.9 mi) (approx.)||0.70||tectonic||Has the form of a curved double ridge|
|Euboea Montes||10.5 to 13.4 km (6.5 to 8.3 mi)||0.74||tectonic||A NW flank landslide left a 25,000 km3 debris apron[n 10]|
|unnamed (245° W, 30° S)||2.5 km (1.6 mi) (approx.)||0.14||volcanic||One of the tallest of Io's many volcanoes, with an atypical conical form[n 11]|
|Mimas||Herschel central peak||7 km (4 mi) (approx.)||3.5||impact||See also: List of largest craters in the Solar System|
|Dione||Janiculum Dorsa||1.5 km (0.9 mi)||0.27||tectonic[n 12]||Surrounding crust depressed ca. 0.3 km.|
|Titan||Mithrim Montes||≤ 3.3 km (2.1 mi)||0.13||tectonic||May have formed due to global contraction|
|Doom Mons||1.45 km (0.90 mi)||0.056||cryovolcanic||Adjacent to Sotra Patera, a 1.7 km (1.1 mi) deep collapse feature|
|Iapetus||equatorial ridge||20 km (12 mi) (approx.)||2.7||uncertain[n 13]||Individual peaks have not been measured|
|Oberon||unnamed ("limb mountain")||11 km (7 mi) (approx.)||1.4||impact (?)||A value of 6 km was given shortly after the Voyager 2 encounter|
|Pluto||Tenzing Montes, peak "T2"||~6.2 km (3.9 mi)||0.52||tectonic (?)||Composed of water ice; named after Tenzing Norgay|
|Piccard Mons[n 14]||~5.5 km (3.4 mi)||0.46||cryovolcanic (?)||~220 km across; central depression is 11 km deep|
|Wright Mons[n 14]||~4.7 km (2.9 mi)||0.40||cryovolcanic (?)||~160 km across; summit depression ~56 km across and 4.5 km deep|
|Charon||Butler Mons||≥ 4.5 km (2.8 mi)||0.74||tectonic (?)||Vulcan Planitia, the southern plains, has several isolated peaks, possibly tilted crustal blocks|
|Dorothy central peak||~4.0 km (2.5 mi)||0.66||impact||North polar impact basin Dorothy, Charon's largest, is ∼240 km across and 6 km deep|
Tallest mountains by elevation
- Olympus Mons 72,000 ft (22,000 m)
- Equatorial Ridge 65,617 ft (20,000 m)
- Boösaule Mons 59,711 ft (18,200 m)
- Ascraeus Mons 49,000 ft (15,000 m)
- Ionian Mons 41,667 ft (12,700 m)
- Elysium Mons 41,338 ft (12,600 m)
- Arsia Mons 38,386 ft (11,700 m)
- Limb Mountain 36,089 ft (11,000 m)
- Skadi Mons 35,105 ft (10,700 m)
- Euboea Montes 34,449 ft (10,500 m)
- Mauna Kea 33,464 ft (10,200 m)
- Haleakala 29,856 ft (9,100 m)
- Mount Everest 29,029 ft (8,848 m)
- Teide 24,606 ft (7,500 m)
- Herschel Peak 22,966 ft (7,000 m)
- Anseris Mons 20,341 ft (6,200 m)
- Tenzing Montes 20,341 ft (6,200 m)
- Denali 20,310 ft (6,190 m)
- Mount Kilimanjaro 19,341 ft (5,895 m)
- Mons Huygens 18,045 ft (5,500 m)
- Aeolis Mons 18,045 ft (5,500 m)
- Piccard Mons 18,045 ft (5,500 m)
- Maat Mons 16,076 ft (4,900 m)
- Wright Mons 15,420 ft (4,700 m)
- Mons Hadley 14,764 ft (4,500 m)
- Butler Mons 14,764 ft (4,500 m)
- Ahuna Mons 13,500 ft (4,100 m)
- Dorothy Peak 13,123 ft (4,000 m)
- Mithrim Montes 10,948 ft (3,337 m)
- Caloris Montes 9,843 ft (3,000 m)
- Io (unnamed peak) 8,202 ft (2,500 m)
- Janiculum Dorsa 4,921 ft (1,500 m)
- Doom Mons 4,757 ft (1,450 m)
- Mons Rümker 4,265 ft (1,300 m)
The following images are shown in order of decreasing base-to-peak height.
Io's Euboea Montes (below top left), Haemus Montes (lower right); north is left
Cassini photo of Herschel crater on Mimas and its central peak
Maat Mons, Venus (radar imaging plus altimetry, 10x vertical exaggeration)
- List of extraterrestrial volcanoes
- List of highest mountains on Earth
- List of largest craters in the Solar System
- List of largest lakes and seas in the Solar System
- List of largest rifts, canyons and valleys in the Solar System
- List of mountains on Mars by height
- Mons (planetary nomenclature)
- Topographic prominence
- 100 × ratio of peak height to radius of the parent world
- On Earth, mountain heights are constrained by glaciation; peaks are usually limited to elevations not more than 1500 m above the snow line (which varies with latitude). Exceptions to this trend tend to be rapidly forming volcanoes.
- On p. 20 of Helman (2005): "the base to peak rise of Mount McKinley is the largest of any mountain that lies entirely above sea level, some 18,000 ft (5,500 m)"
- Peak is 8.8 km (5.5 mi) above sea level, and over 13 km (8.1 mi) above the oceanic abyssal plain.
- Prominences in crater rims are not typically viewed as peaks and have not been listed here. A notable example is an (officially) unnamed massif on the rim of the farside crater Zeeman that rises about 4.0 km above adjacent parts of the rim and about 7.57 km above the crater floor. The formation of the massif does not appear to be explainable simply on the basis of the impact event.
- Due to limitations in the accuracy of the measurements and the lack of a precise definition of "base", it is difficult to say whether this peak or the central peak of Vesta's crater Rheasilvia is the tallest mountain in the Solar System.
- About 5.25 km (3.26 mi) high from the perspective of the landing site of Curiosity.
- A crater central peak may sit below the mound of sediment. If that sediment was deposited while the crater was flooded, the crater may have once been entirely filled before erosional processes gained the upper hand. However, if the deposition was due to katabatic winds that descend the crater walls, as suggested by reported 3 degree radial slopes of the mound's layers, the role of erosion would have been to place an upper limit on the mound's growth. Gravity measurements by Curiosity suggest the crater was never buried by sediment, consistent with the latter scenario.
- Due to limitations in the accuracy of the measurements and the lack of a precise definition of "base", it is difficult to say whether this peak or the volcano Olympus Mons on Mars is the tallest mountain in the Solar System.
- Among the Solar System's largest
- Some of Io's paterae are surrounded by radial patterns of lava flows, indicating they are on a topographic high point, making them shield volcanoes. Most of these volcanoes exhibit relief of less than 1 km. A few have more relief; Ruwa Patera rises 2.5 to 3 km over its 300 km width. However, its slopes are only on the order of a degree. A handful of Io's smaller shield volcanoes have steeper, conical profiles; the example listed is 60 km across and has slopes averaging 4° and reaching 6-7° approaching the small summit depression.
- Was apparently formed via contraction.
- Hypotheses of origin include crustal readjustment associated with a decrease in oblateness due to tidal locking, and deposition of deorbiting material from a former ring around the moon.
- Name not yet approved by the IAU
- A linearized wide-angle hazcam image that makes the mountain look steeper than it actually is. The highest peak is not visible in this view.
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- 3-D anaglyphs of Rheasilvia's central peak at photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov: top view and side view
- Color views of Rheasilvia's central peak at Planetary.org: side view (peak is at upper right) and mosaic of Vesta's southern hemisphere
- Color panorama of Aeolis Mons from 21 September 2012 (smaller color-balanced view here)
- Color view of Aeolis Mons by Seán Doran
- High resolution video of overflight of lower slopes of Aeolis Mons by Seán Doran
- Gigapixel panorama of the Mt. Everest area by David Breashears