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Meteor Crater, Arizona, United States of America. Author National Map Seamless Serve NASA Earth Observatory. No Copyright
Meteor Crater, Arizona, United States of America. Author National Map Seamless Serve NASA Earth Observatory

Meteor Crater in Arizona

The Meteor Crater in Arizona is a giant hole in the middle of the arid sandstone plain of the Arizona desert, the crater formed by an impact of a meteorite, is located near the town of Winslow. The crater which has a diameter of 1,250 meters and a depth of 173 meters, has a circumference of almost 5 km.

This crater was formed about fifty thousand years ago, when a huge iron-nickel meteorite, weighing millions of tons and about 25/30 meters in diameter, struck the solid rock of the plain of Arizona at a speed of about 70,000 km / hour.

The meteor impact generated more force than any nuclear explosion caused by man, the tremendous force generated caused the destruction of all life and every tree for a few kilometers from the crash site.

The crater was observed for the first time by white men in 1871, but this time it was believed that it was the crater of an extinct volcano. In 1890 some fragments of iron-nickel meteorites were found in the surrounding plain, which led some scientists to suggest that the crater was formed by a giant meteorite. In 1902 Daniel Barringer Moreau, a mining engineer, was convinced that the crater was created by a meteorite from outer space, he bought the land where was the crater and formed a company to esplore it, hoping to find the remains of the meteorite.

Barringer never found the remains of the meteorite, the scientists now believe that the main part of the meteorite, about 80 percent, it is vaporized on impact, a 5 percent is dispersed in the surrounding area, 10 percent remains below the south rim of the crater. The remaining 5 percent was destroyed by the friction with the atmosphere prior to impact.

METEOR CRATER USEFUL INFORMATION

Meteor Crater is located about 40 miles (40 minutes drive) to the east of Flagstaff, which is the best place to stay when visiting the crater.

Time: 8.00 am to 5.00 pm (7.00 pm in summer) every day, closed for Christmas. Thanksgiving Day, fourth Thursday in November open from 8.00 am to 1.00 pm.

Tickets: The ticket costs $ 16.00 per person, children 6 to 17 years $ 8.00 (under 5 years are admitted for free).

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