Massive ancient lava flow seen from space looks like a giant black scar on the New Mexico desert

An astronaut photo of the Carrizozo Malpaís lava flow in the Chihuahuan Desert, New Mexico, on June 30. (Image credit: NASA Earth Observatory)

An astronaut on board the International Space Station (ISS) has snapped a stunning photo of an ancient lava flow stretching across the desert in New Mexico. From above, the frozen river of volcanic rock looks like a dark scar carved into the surrounding desert. 

The basaltic lava flow, known as the Carrizozo Malpaís, covers around 130 square miles (337 square kilometers) and is around 50 miles (80 kilometers) long. It is located near Carrizozo, a city in the Chihuahuan Desert in New Mexico, and is one of the largest lava flows to have formed on Earth in the past 10,000 years, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) (opens in new tab)


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