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TOPIC: Lonar Crater


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Stone observatory in offing at Lonar

In a bid to promote tourism, a stone observatory has been proposed at the famous Lonar crater site in Buldhana district, near Aurangabad. The observatory will be built on the lines of the well-known Jantar Mantar stone observatory in Jaipur.
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Ignoring warnings of a dire fate that awaited those who left the comfort of their urbane homes and ventured into the torturous summers of Maharashtra, we had set out to see something we had been planning for a really long time - the Lonar crater. At the edge of the crater stands the famous Daitya Sudan temple.
Studies by scientists show the crater was formed by a huge meteor that crashed into the earth at this spot over 50,000 years ago. The gigantic crater is nearly two kms in diameter and 150 metres deep. The impact, apart from creating the crater it seems, had sprung a leak in the hill side and a perennial stream comes off the rock face.

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The Nagpur bench of Bombay high court has directed the Maharashtra Government to file within eight weeks a progress report on its plans to develop Lonar crater into world class tourist destination. The court's directives came after state tourism deputy secretary Rajiv Nivatkar furnished an affidavit detailing the government's commitments to develop the crater created by a meteorite impact about 50,000 years ago.
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Campaign to press for world heritage site status for Lonar lake

City-based amateur astronomers' group Khagol Vishwa, along with Vishwa Scientific and Lonar Mitra Mandal, will launch a campaign on May 1 to spread awareness and press for a World Heritage Site status for the Lonar crater lake in Buldhana district.
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Rare bacterium discovered in Lonar crater sediments

A rare bacterium has been discovered in the Lonar crater lake sediments in Buldana district of Maharashtra, a microbiologist said here on Tuesday.
This could be first biological evidence of the origin of Lonar crater, microbiologist Dr. Dilip Tambekar of Sant Gagdge Baba University in neighbouring Amravati district, claimed.
The bacterium 'Bacillus odysseyi' which the scientist discovered was first reported from Mars Odyssey space craft in 2004, he said.

"U.S. scientists had reported that the bacterium does not have existence on earth. But our findings clearly indicate that the Lonar crater-lake (50,000 years old) formed due to the Mars meteorite that hit Earth," Tambekar told PTI.

Source

Ed ~ A few points on why this article has been badly researched and written. The 'rare bacterium' was found on Earth, not Mars (The article implies that it was discovered by the Mars Odyssey spacecraft on Mars - not so).
It is also illogical to infer that a bacteria that can resist UV and gamma radiation may have come from space.
Therefore it is illogical and incorrect to state that Lonar crater-lake formed due to a Martian meteorite.



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It would've destroyed dinosaurs. It would've spelled disaster to other creatures of the earth. It would've charred and destroyed a large portion of the green landscape. We are talking about the 20-lakh tonne, 60-km wide meteorite that travelled at about 90,000 km/hr and dented the earth about 50,000 years ago.
Compensating for all the destruction it had caused, it has given us an amazing ecosystem in the form of a crater with a lake at its base where one can experience nature in all its vivid splendour.

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Celestial waters

Lonar in Maharashtra's Buldhana district has a special place on the geological map of India. Its claim to fame is a salt water lake in basaltic rock - the world's only such lake - believed to have been caused by the impact of a meteorite that struck the earth thousands of years ago. Initially, some scientists felt that it was a volcanic crater. It has a depth of 170 meters, with a circular rim surrounding it. The lake water is ten times saltier than seawater, preventing the survival of fish. The legend goes that the soap made from this salt was used by Emperor Akbar.
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Govt to give funds for Lonar

Lonar lake, created by meteorite impact about 50 million years ago, is finally getting the attention it deserves. Three petitioners who approached the Bombay High court with a plea to save the crater demanded that steps be taken to nominate the site along with Western Ghats on United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation's (UNESCO) world heritage sites list.
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The Nagpur bench of the Mumbai high court has ordered restoration of the worlds third largest meteorite lake in the Buldhana district of Maharashtra. A recent study by a group appointed by the court, pointed out that Lonar lake is a dumping ground for raw sewage from localities in the vicinity, making it unfit. The court formed two committees to oversee the restoration work on September 29.
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A group of astronomers and students from the city have decided to save Lonar crater, the only salt water lake in the country created by meteoric impact, from encroachment, drainage water and use of pesticides on nearby land. Khagol Vishwa, a city-based amateur astronomer's group, along with the Lonar Mitra Mandal, a few students and experts have decided to take up measures to not only save the lake but also get it listed as a world heritage site.
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