Meteor Crater, Arizona's striking meteorite crater
Wildlife Attraction

Meteor Crater, Arizona's striking meteorite crater

Meteor Crater,Arizona

Meteor Crater, Arizona's striking meteorite crater

Meteor Crater, also known as Barringer Crater, is one of the largest and best preserved craters on Earth. This huge opening is located in the southwest of the United States just in the middle of the arid Arizona desert, and is the result of the collision of an asteroid that occurred over 50,000 years ago, during the Pleistocene period. The huge explosion was able to excavate 175 million tons of rock, forming a 1200 meter wide crater. The power released by the impact of this iron and nickel fireball which measured 50 meters in diameter, traveling at a speed of 7.5 miles per second with an original mass of about 300,000 tons. The meteorite wiped out all the vegetation and any form of animal life within its with a force 150 times greater than the atomic bomb that destroyed Hiroshima.

The crater, also known by the names of Canyon Diablo Crater, Coon Mountain and Coon Butte, was considered a volcanic crater until the early twentieth century, an extraordinary fracture in the state. Despite the skepticism of the scientific community, mining engineer Daniel Moreau Barringer was the first to support this impact theory. Barringer bought the property and subsequently set up the "Meteor Crater Enterprise" a mining company which, with the help of funds from the Federal Government, allowed him to start research to corroborate his hypothesis. After 26 years of excavations and hard work without positive results, he realized that any residual meteorite had completely disintegrated in the impact. However, his thesis was deemed correct thanks to the geologist Eugene Shoemaker who in 1960, following the discovery and precise analysis of some minerals, was able to certify with certainty the origin of the meteorite.

The site is still owned by the Barringer family today and is privately administered by their company. The entire area has been used as a tourist center, equipped with an observation walkway located on the edge of the crater. At the center is the "Meteor Crater Interactive Discovery Center" a beautiful interactive museum that, through the new three-dimensional animation technologies, reproduces the video of the explosive violence of the meteor through the earth's atmosphere. Inside there are also 24 exhibits where numerous finds are exhibited including the Holsinger Meteorite, the largest fragment weighing 639 kg recovered from the crater. A unique place, the perfect destination for all astronomy enthusiasts.

"The photos on this site are owned by users or purchased from image banks"