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This graph illustrates one way in which the altimeter instrument studies the planet.
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Image from: NASA/JPL

Mars Global Surveyor Measures Volcano Altitudes

Mars Global Surveyor carries an instrument which measures the altitudes of things. The instrument is called an altimeter, or "altitude-meter".

The graph to the left shows Mars Global Surveyor's measurement of the size of some of the Martian volcanoes. The altitudes measured by the altimeter are shown in both kilometers and in miles. Shown for comparison is the altitude of the biggest Martian volcano, Olympus Mons. Some of the other volcanoes seem higher than Olympus Mons because they sit on ground level which is higher than the ground level on which Olympus Mons stands.


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