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Maat Mons

Mountain on Venus

Atla Regio forms the eastern end of a chain of highlands running around much of the equator of Venus, forming a wide area of volcanic upland rising some three kilometres above the mean planetary radius. Out of this region rise several volcanic peaks, including Maat Mons, the tallest mountain in this part of Venus. Indeed, this is the second-highest peak on the entire planet (the highest being the 10.7-kilometre Skadi Mons in the Maxwell Montes far to the north).

Maat Mons (which takes its name from Ma'at, the Egyptian goddess of order and justice) is one of several prominent peaks rising from Atla Regio, with the two tallest among the others being Sapas Mons to the northwest and Ozza Mons to the northeast. Maat Mons is a shield volcano, rising from a wide base some 395 km across to tower more than five kilometres above the upland plains of the region (and nearly nine kilometres - 8,860 metres - above the mean planetary radius). Its peak is marked by a broad caldera some thirty kilometres across.

The caldera on the peak of Maat Mons is broken by small craters, and the sides of the mountain are marked by various other small craters of the same kind, notably in a chain running along its southeastern side. These are thought to be due to structural collapse of chambers within the old volcano. Though now dormant, Maat Mons does not seem to be fully extinct as a volcano, and there indications (including flows of ash and emissions of volcanic gases) that it may have been active in the relatively recent past.


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