The Largest Impact Crater In The Solar System Is Located On?


Answer: Mars

Among all our intragalactic neighbors in the solar system, Mars has had its particular share of numerous (and massive) hard knocks with comets, meteors, and other speedy and vast space objects. In fact, Mars is home to the largest recognized impact site in the entire solar system, the Utopia Planitia (Latin for “Nowhere Plain”).

The impact crater created by some ancient cosmological event is so big that it is classified as a basin and stretches a staggering 2,050 miles (3,300 km) across. For comparison, the United States is 2,680 miles across from Atlantic to Pacific coasts and Australia is roughly 2,500 miles across; if the Utopia Planitia impact site was superimposed over either country, it would consume almost the entirety of each there of.

The site is so large, so prominent on Mars, and of such interest to scientists that the Planitia served as the touch-down site for the 1970s exploratory Viking 2 lander. It even makes an appearance in pop culture, courtesy of Star Trek canon. In the Star Trek universe, the Planitia (surface site and areosynchronous orbit above it) is the site of a major Federation shipyard where ships such as the USS Enterprise-D and the USS Voyager were constructed.

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