Context: Recently, the colour of water in Lonar lake in Buldhana district , Maharashtra turned pink due to which the State Forest Department sent samples for testing to National Environmental Engineering Research Institute in Nagpur and Agarkar Research Institute in Pune.
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- Some experts have attributed the change to the mixing of dunaliella algae with halo bacteria, forming a beta carotene pigment and turning the water pink.
- Same instances in other parts of the world: In a lake in Iran, the water turns reddish due to an increase in salinity.
About Lonar Lake:
- Lonar lake has saline water and is a notified national geo-heritage monument.
- National Geological Monuments are geographical areas of national importance and heritage, as notified by the Government of India's Geological Survey of India (GSI), for their maintenance, protection, promotion and enhancement of geotourism.
- Formed after a meteorite hit the Earth some 50,000 years ago.It was created by an asteroid collision with earth impact during the Pleistocene Epoch.
- Lonar Crater sits inside the Deccan Plateau – a massive plain of volcanic basalt rock created by eruptions some 65 million years ago.
- Located around 500 km from Mumbai, it is a popular tourist hub and also attracts scientists from all over the world.
- It is one of the four known, hyper-velocity, impact craters in basaltic rock anywhere on Earth.
- Lonar Lake has a mean diameter of 1.2 kilometres (3,900 ft) and is about 137 metres (449 ft) below the crater rim. The meteor crater rim is about 1.8 kilometres (5,900 ft) in diameter.
- A meteorite is a solid piece of debris from an object, such as a comet, asteroid, or meteoroid, that originates in outer space and survives its passage through the atmosphere to reach the surface of a planet or moon.
- Meteoroids are what we call “space rocks” that range in size from dust grains to small asteroids. This term only applies when they’re in space.
- When meteoroids enter Earth’s atmosphere, or that of another planet, like Mars, at high speed and burn up, they’re called meteors.
- When the original object enters the atmosphere, various factors such as friction, pressure, and chemical interactions with the atmospheric gases cause it to heat up and radiate energy.
- It then becomes a meteor and forms a fireball, also known as a shooting star or falling star; astronomers call the brightest examples "bolides".
Image Source: Weather.com