You Can See the Spot Where Lava Broke Through the Wall of a Martian Crater and Began Filling it Up

In this image, we can see a small notch in a crater rim with a well-formed channel. Lava appears to have flowed through this notch and filled in this approximately 10-kilometer diameter crater. Image Credit: NASA/JPL/UArizona

At a fundamental level, Mars is a volcanic planet. Its surface is home to the Solar System’s largest extinct volcano, Olympus Mons, and another trio of well-known volcanoes at Tharsis Montes. And those are just the highlights: there are many other volcanoes on the surface. Though that volcanic activity ceased long ago, the planet’s surface tells the tale of a world disrupted and shaped by powerful volcanic eruptions.

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