Lonar Crater is the third largest meteoritic impact crater in the world and only known crater formed by hypervelocity meteoritic impact in basaltic rock. The crater is 1.83 km in diameter and 170 meters in depth, and its age is estimated to be 52,000 ± 6,000 years (Pleistocene). It is partially filled by a salt water lake. The crater is situated on Deccan Plateau which is caused by volcano . Due to its occurrence in Deccan trap (originated due to eruption from Reunion plume), origin of crater was in doubt for long.
Crater is analog for Martian impact craters, specimens of stone brought by Apollo astronauts are very similar to that of found in Lonar. Rock samples from Lonar are being used by NASA in its MARS and Deep Impact Mission. They hope that it can unveil some of mysteries about Martian bodies.
Its unique Geology, Biodiversity, temples with ancient scripts, astrological importance, matchless ecosystem, makes its deserved place and offers many opportunities for scientists, astronomers, tourists, historians, wildlife enthusiasts etc.
Lonar Crater is an ecologically interesting site, with various species of birds, animals, rocks, flora, fauna, rare algae, peafowl’s etc. Add to this the Natural beauty makes it serene and scenic spot.
This fascinating, magnificent wonder of nature has potential to emerge as international tourist spot, research hub for scientists and overall eco-friendly development can take place with responsible actions.
This crater is unique has a great importance in Geology and Astronomy. This place has to be saved and preserved. We need to take focused and quick efforts in this matter. It is important and enjoyable to visit and study this place for geology and astronomy lovers.
- Balasaheb Darade