Astronomy:Hecates Tholus

From HandWiki
Hecates Tholus
PIA06827 - Hecates Tholus.jpg
2001 Mars Odyssey THEMIS daytime infrared image mosaic
CoordinatesCoordinates: 32°07′N 150°14′E / 32.12°N 150.24°E / 32.12; 150.24

Hecates Tholus is a Martian volcano, notable for results from the European Space Agency's Mars Express mission which indicate a major eruption took place 350 million years ago. The eruption created a caldera 10 km in diameter. It has been suggested that glacial deposits later partly filled the caldera and an adjacent depression. Crater counts indicate this happened as recently as 5 to 20 million years ago. However climate models show that ice is not stable at Hecates Tholus today, pointing to climate change since the glaciers were active. It has been shown that the age of the glaciers correspond to a period of increased obliquity of Mars' rotational axis.[1]

The volcano is at location 32.12°N 150.24°E, in the volcanic province Elysium, and has a diameter of 182 km. It is the northernmost of the Elysium volcanoes; the others are Elysium Mons and Albor Tholus.[2] Hecates Tholus is in the Cebrenia quadrangle.

Origin of name

In planetary nomenclature, a "tholus" is a "small domical mountain or hill". Hecates is named after Hecate, the goddess of the ghost-world, nightly events, and sorcery.[3]


See also


  1. Huber, Ernst et al. (17 March 2005). "Discovery of a flank caldera and very young glacial activity at Hecates Tholus". Nature 434 (7031): 356–361. doi:10.1038/nature03423. PMID 15772654. Bibcode2005Natur.434..356H. 
  2."Elysium Mons Volcanic Region" (in en). 
  3. Blunck, J. 1982. Mars and its Satellites. Exposition Press. Smithtown, N.Y.
  4. Mougins-Mark, P., L. Wilson. 2016. Possible sub-glacial eruptions in the Galaxias Quadrangle, Mars. 267, 68-85.

External links