38 Maxwell Montes
is the highest peak on which planet?
, the highest features seen, stand nearly 11 km above the mean radius."
Maxwell has a mountain range on Venus, Maxwell Montes
, named after him and the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope, in Hawaii, is the largest astronomical telescope in the world.
That's because the craft's elliptical orbit carries it too far away from Venus' polar regions to accurately record the gravitational pull of polar features, even those as large as Maxwell Montes, at 11 kilometers the planet's tallest mountain.
But he adds that unless a plume is geologically confined to a narrow, pipe-like region as it emerges, it could not form a narrow, sharply defined mountain such as Maxwell Montes near the north pole.
More than 30 expeditions unfold before the reader's eyes, among them an incredibly detailed descent into Valles Marineris, a mountain-climbing trip to the Moon, a top-down approach to Venus's Maxwell Montes
, volcano-hopping on Io, diving beneath the icy crust of Europa (through an impact feature named Tyre), surfing in Saturn's rings, and exploring Triton, a place Hodge refers to as the "Yellowstone of the Solar System" because of the inner activity that continually affects its seemingly frozen surface.
Nonetheless, the spectrometer identified such highland features as Maxwell Montes
(at 11 km the tallest mountain on Venus), Bell Regio (at an elevation of 2 to 3 km), and the western edge of Aphrodite Terra (2 to 2.5 km tail).
Three exceptions, already in wide use, were retained: Alpha Regio, Beta Regio, and Maxwell Montes
(honoring physicist James Clerk Maxwell).
On the other hand, the long-term survival of Maxwell Montes
, Venus' largest known mountain, indicates that rising plumes of material from the interior may counterbalance the downward pull of gravity, keeping some high-altitude areas intact.