The winds that batter the top of Mount Everest, Nepal, are jet streams. Jet streams are cold, fast-moving winds that circulate high in the atmosphere. Jet streams pose a major danger to climbers on Mount Everest. With freezing winds at 120 kilometers per hour (70 miles per hour,) climbers are stuck until the jet streams die down.

Photograph by Barry Bishop, National Geographic

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    • Mount Everest is the highest elevation on Earth. It rises 8,850 meters (29,035 feet) above sea level.
    • Mount Everest is part of the Himalaya mountain range, which separates the large continent of Asia from the Indian subcontinent. The 32 tallest peaks on Earth are in the Himalayas.
    • Mount Everest is a part of two nations: China and Nepal. The traditional Chinese name of Mount Everest is Chomolungma. The traditional Nepalese name is Sagarmatha. A British surveyor, Sir Andrew Scott Waugh, gave Mount Everest its English name in 1865. He named it after Sir George Everest, a Welsh geographer.
    • Although Mount Everest is the highest elevation on Earth, it is not the tallest mountain. Mauna Kea, on the island of Hawaii in the U.S. state of the same name, rises not from a continental mountain range, but from the seafloor. Mauna Kea rises 4,205 meters (13,976 feet) above sea level. From base to summit, however, Mauna Kea is 10,203 meters (33,476 feet) tall!
    • Mount Everest, and even Mauna Kea, are far from the highest mountains in the solar system. The highest mountain in the solar system is probably Olympus Mons, a volcano on Mars. Olympus Mons rises about 22 kilometers (14 miles) into the Martian atmosphere. (That's 22,000 meters, or 72,178 feetmore than twice the height of Mount Everest!)
  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    continent Noun

    one of the seven main land masses on Earth.

    Encyclopedic Entry: continent
    Earth Noun

    our planet, the third from the Sun. The Earth is the only place in the known universe that supports life.

    Encyclopedic Entry: Earth
    elevation Noun

    height above or below sea level.

    Encyclopedic Entry: elevation
    geographer Noun

    person who studies places and the relationships between people and their environments.

    Himalaya Mountains Noun

    mountain range between India and Nepal.

    Indian subcontinent Noun

    landmass in south-central Asia carried by the Indian tectonic plate, including the peninsula of India.

    island Noun

    body of land surrounded by water.

    Encyclopedic Entry: island
    Mars Noun

    fourth planet from the sun, between Earth and Jupiter.

    Mauna Kea Noun

    dormant volcano in the U.S. state of Hawaii. (4,205 meters/13,796 feet tall)

    mountain Noun

    landmass that forms as tectonic plates interact with each other.

    Mount Everest Noun

    highest spot on Earth, 8,850 meters (29,035 feet). Mount Everest is part of the Himalaya range, in Nepal and China.

    nation Noun

    political unit made of people who share a common territory.

    Encyclopedic Entry: nation
    seafloor Noun

    surface layer of the bottom of the ocean.

    sea level Noun

    base level for measuring elevations. Sea level is determined by measurements taken over a 19-year cycle.

    Encyclopedic Entry: sea level
    solar system Noun

    the sun and the planets, asteroids, comets, and other bodies that orbit around it.

    summit Noun

    highest point of a mountain.

    surveyor Noun

    person who analyzes the specific boundaries and features of a piece of land using mathematical concepts such as geometry.