A look at the biggest and smallest volcanoes on earth

Share on Google Plus Plus The most interesting volcanoes on Earth are those that leave us speechless. While all volcanoes are fascinating and great to visit, there are some that are so extraordinary that we find it hard to believe they are terrestrial phenomena. The volcanoes are like beautiful women:

A look at the biggest and smallest volcanoes on earth

May 22, While it is the smallest of the known dwarf planets, it is the largest object in the asteroid belt. Unlike other rocky bodies in the asteroid beltCeres is an oblate spheroid, rounded with a rotational bulge around its equator.

Scientists think Ceres may have an ocean and possibly an atmosphere. The recent arrival of a probe has unlocked some of the dwarf planet's secrets, but others remain hidden. After leaving the asteroid Vesta, Dawn traveled to Ceres, an icy world that has tantalized scientists for years. While most asteroids are made of rock, Ceres revealed hints that it could contain water on its surface sincethough those hints remained unconfirmed for more than 20 years.

Most of the surface is a dull gray. Spectral observations from Ceres have revealed the presence of a form of graphite known as graphitized carbon. As Dawn drew closer to the giant asteroid, a bright spot on its surface grew clearer.

After observing Ceres, similar spots of varying brightness were found on the planet. The surface of Ceres is generally as reflective as freshly poured asphalt, while the spots ranged from the dull sheen of concrete to the startling brightness of ice floating on Earth's oceans.

A look at the biggest and smallest volcanoes on earth

The brightest region lies in the mile-wide 90 kilometers Occator Crater, which contains the most famous collections of shining spots on the surface of Ceres. Early speculation regarding the spots included the possibility of ice volcanoes on the dwarf planet.

However, only a single " lonely mountain " rises from the surface. The pyramid-shaped mountain rises to an altitude of 21, feet 6, meters. The 4-mile high mountain stands solitary, with no evidence of volcanic or other geologic activity to suggest its puzzling origin.

Although a study of the spots originally found signatures of hydrated magnesium sulfatesthe same material that makes up Epsom salt back on Earth, further examination revealed chemical signatures of sodium carbonate. Formed from carbon, on Earth the material is often left behind as water evaporates, suggesting that the salts formed in the watery conditions beneath the crust.

Most of the bright regions are associated with craters, suggesting that their formation could be related to impacts. These findings tie into earlier understanding of the formation of the dwarf planet. Ceres' features are named for agricultural spirits and gods, and were approved by the International Astronomical Union in Ceres itself was named for the Roman goddess of corn and harvests.

A once-wet world Ceres may look dry and gray, but it probably held a liquid ocean in its past. Dawn used the dwarf planet's own bulk to map its gravity field.

Combined with observations of the icy surfaces, the observations reveal traces of an ocean in the crust, with signs of a muddy mantle below the surface.

Ceres has a density of 2. This would give the dwarf planet more fresh water than Earth contains. By comparison, Earth has a density of 5.

Before Dawn visited the dwarf planet, scientists already suspected that it could hide a liquid or frozen ocean; the visiting satellite helped dive into the secrets lurking beneath the planet's surface. Scientists think that water-ice serves as the mantle of the dwarf planet. The thin, dusty crust is thought to be composed of rock, while a rocky inner core lies at the center.

Spectral observations of Ceres from Earth reveal that the surface contains iron-rich clays. Signs of carbonates have similarly been found, making Ceres one of the only bodies in the solar system known to contain these minerals, the other two being Earth and Mars.

Formed by a process that involves heat and water, carbonates are considered good potential indicators of habitability. When large bodies crash into Ceres, they may scoop out a region of the crust, cutting into the icy mantle beneath to leave the ice closer to surface. When sunlight heats the outer layer, the ice could go from solid to gas through a process known as sublimation.The most interesting volcanoes on Earth are those that leave us speechless.

While all volcanoes are fascinating and great to visit, there are some that are so extraordinary that we find it hard to believe they are terrestrial phenomena.

The largest volcano on Earth is Mauna Loa, which is one of the 5 volcanoes that make up the Big Island of Hawaii. When we talk about biggest volcano here, we’re talking about the volcano that has the biggest volume, and that’s Mauna Loa.

A volcano is an opening in Earth's crust where magma breaks through, raining down molten rock, ash and gases. There are several types of volcanoes. Volcano Facts and Types of Volcanoes. Let's take a look at how volcanoes form on Earth: Earth's crust is 3 to 37 miles (5 to 60 kilometers) thick, according to the U.S.

Geological Survey. It is broken up into seven major and smaller pieces called tectonic plates, according to a paper by Christopher Harrison at the University of Miami. Tamu Massif dwarfs the largest active volcano on Earth, Mauna Loa in Hawaii, which measures about 2, square miles (5, square kilometers).

Made of basalt, Tamu Massif is the oldest and largest feature of an oceanic plateau called the Shatsky Rise in the northwestern Pacific Ocean. The Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is not only where Kilauea, one of the world’s most active volcanoes is, but also where Mauna Loa is found.

A look at the biggest and smallest volcanoes on earth

Mauna Loa is the daddy of all volcanoes and holds prime position on the list of biggest volcanoes in the world.

Extra-terrestrial Volcanoes