In the preparation of expeditions to Mars, a little known lake Lonar in Buldana district of Maharashtra may have a part to play.
The nearly circular Lonar lake’s distinction is that not only it is believed to have been created by the impact of a meteorite from outer space, “it is the only impact crater found in the world on basaltic terrain of hard rock,similar to that in Mars,”, according to Praveen Gawali scientist working with the Indian Institute of Geomagnetism under Department of Science and Technology.
“Investigations at Lonar may give us some clue about the impact craters found also on Mars. For the manned missions being planned to Mars, Lonar may give an idea as to what to expect in Mars,” he said. “We have got feelers from Nasa that they are interested in studying the area and collaborating with us.”
As origins of Lonar were still shrouded in mystery and no scientific studies had established whether the crater forming the lake had been actually due to the impact of a meteorite or it had been formed simply by a volcanic eruption, the institute had started a project to study this under Scientist N Basavaiah.