Forty years ago, a vast molten cavity known as the Darvaza crater – nicknamed the "door to hell" – opened up in the desert of north Turkmenistan, and has been burning ever since. Last year, George Kourounis became the first person to descend to the bottom of the crater. [more inside]
Mount Nyiragongo in the Democratic Republic of Congo is one of the world's largest active volcanoes. The Boston Globe presents photographer Oliver Grunewald's amazing photo essay of a June 2010 expedition to the lava lake sheltered inside the crater. [more inside]
On February 14 NASA's Stardust-NExT mission revisited the comet Tempel 1. Tempel 1 was first visited by NASA's Deep Impact, which smashed into the comet back in July 2005. [more inside]
Early into the Egypt-Italy Science Year 2009, a crater was found by a research team with Google Earth on the hyperarid southern edge of Egypt. Not associated with the earlier documented Clayton craters located in the south-east corner of Egypt, the recently discovered crater is unique for its untouched, pristine nature that appears more similar to other planets and moons with thin atmospheres, even though the impact has been estimated to be a few thousand years old. The crater, labeled Gebel Kamil, will be the 177th known impact site on Earth, as logged by the Earth Impact Database. [more inside]
An interactive map of the 174 major meteor impact craters. The largest crater we know of is the Vredefort Dome in South Africa, caused by a meteor some 10 km in diameter. Almost as large in the Sudbury Structure, located in Ontario, which contains some of the world's richest nickel and copper reserves, and has been only confirmed recently to be a crater. Third largest is the now-famous Chicxulub crater in the Yucatan, which probably killed the dinosaurs. Then take a look at an animation of asteroids near Earth [animated gif] and the list of minor planets that could hit us. Want to find out what happens when an meteor impacts in your area? Use the handy Earth Impacts Effects Program!
A break in the strange case of Judge Joseph Crater. In 1930, Judge Crater, later dubbed "The Missingest Man In New York", stepped into a cab and was never seen again. He left behind a mourning wife and one of New York's most enduring mysteries. For 75 years, his disappearance has been the butt of many dumb jokes and also has been the subject of the occasional book.
Sure, you've seen pictures of Meteor Crater, Arizona, but are there any impact craters near you? Probably.
The Moon's Mare Orientale is one of the largest impact basins in the solar system. It is nearly circular, 700 miles across and concentrically ringed like a bullseye. In short, it looks like a giant eye, one third of the diameter of the moon itself and yet, because it is on the moons far side, it's never visible from the Earths surface. [more]
The stuff from which Myth is made. A recent discovery of a meteor impact crater in the middle-east, dating around 2300BC, is shedding new light on the decline of many cultures and the rise of many legends.