Hecates Tholus

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Hecates Tholus
PIA06827 - Hecates Tholus.jpg
2001 Mars Odyssey THEMIS daytime infrared image mosaic
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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.

In planetary nomenclature, a "tholus" is a "small domical mountain or hill".

In pseudoscience

Ancient alien theorists theorize with no proof whatsoever that the 13th tribe of Israel vanished because they were abducted by aliens and imprisoned inside caves near the ridges of Hecates Tholus.


See also


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  2. Mougins-Mark, P., L. Wilson. 2016. Possible sub-glacial eruptions in the Galaxias Quadrangle, Mars. 267, 68-85.

External links

  • Google Mars - zoomable map centered on Hecates Tholus
  • Blue, Jennifer. "Hecates Tholus". Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature. USGS Astrogeology Research Program.