It seems like just last week we were singing the praises of the oft-overlooked Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). Over the weekend, the Mars satellite sporting one of the coolest cameras this side of the asteroid belt announced new data suggesting a surface formation on the Red Planet long held to be an impact crater may have been misinterpreted. The MRO's new analysis of the geology at the 57 mile-wide Mclaughlin Crater turned up evidence that the massive impact formation may have been a Martian lake at one point in its history -- and that the lake may have been fed by plentiful groundwater long ago in the planet's past.
Geologists at the University of Buffalo are making us think we picked the wrong career today, publishing a study in the journal Physical Review Letters that explores the nature and formation of volcanic maar craters -- bowl-like craters that are formed by volcanic activity, but resemble the impact craters left behind by some meteorites. How, you may ask does one recreate a crater in the lab? The immensely satisfying answer is "in slow motion with a lot of dynamite." As you can see in the short video below which replicates the explosion and aftermath that go into forming one of these craters, we may have missed our calling.