by Joan Marie Galat
The best preserved impact crater is the Barringer Meteorite Crater in Arizona. Known simply as Meteor Crater, it is located on private land on the Southern Colorado Plateau between Winslow and Flagstaff. The crater's rim rises up to 60 metres (196 feet) above the surrounding plain. The hole is 1.6 kilometres (1 mile) across, four kilometres (2.4 miles) in circumference, and more than (180 metres) 590 feet deep!
|The Holsinger Meteorite is a fragment of |
the asteroid that created Meteor Crater in Arizona
About 50,000 years ago, the crater formed when part of a nickel-iron asteroid struck the desert. Travelling 26,000 miles per hour (almost 42,000 kilometers per hour), the approximately 100,000 ton rock hit with the force of more than 20 million tons of TNT! In only a few seconds, the blast moved 175 million metric tons of rock.
Scientists use the site to study how meteors impact planets, as well as to train astronauts and test robots.