Huge Meteor Crater

Saturday, May 28, 2016
Flagstaff, Arizona, United States
Although we've been to this meteor crater in Arizona before, it's worth another posting. The HUGE meteor crater is worth a side trip if you're travelling past it.
From the air, it's very large...
You can see the ridge that was formed from impact from the interstate.

It's about 6 miles south of the road and there's a decent visitor's center there where you can purchase tour tickets. Nice tour around part of the rim. If it's too hot, they'll restrict the tour to just a portion of the rim. Otherwise, you can go all around it.

We stayed at the Meteor Crater RV park right off the interstate. Very nice place to stay for 10 days while we explored Flagstaff as a place to settle down. It's about 30 miles east of Flagstaff.

In order to plant the trees at the park, they had to use dynamite to make holes. The trees, mostly poplar, were planted back in 1982.

More about the crater....

Some facts:

How big is the crater?
The crater is about 1 mile wide and 570 ft deep.                          

How was the crater created?
About 50,000 years ago, a meteorite traveling about 25,000 mph smashed into the Arizona desert. The explosion was equal to 2.5 megatons of TNT!                          

How do we know a meteorite created the crater?                          

Over the years, geologists and other scientists have identified a number of pieces of evidence pointing to a meteoritic impact. These include overturned rock layers around the crater, rocks that have been deformed by extreme temperature and pressure, and specific minerals created by meteoritic impacts.                          

What was the meteorite made out of?                          
The meteorite was made of nickel-iron and is estimated to have been about 45 meters (150 ft) across, weighing about 270,000 metric tons (300,000 tons).                          

Where is the meteorite now?                          
Scientists now believe that most of the meteorite vaporized on impact. Small meteoritic fragments have been found scattered around the crater.

I took to running towards it each morning before it got hot....
Here's a good website to read more about the history....for the curious among you.

...and our Katie photos...

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Patty and Mike Brown

A buddy and I were 16, and it was June,1962. We crawled under a fence and walked down to the bottom of the crater, against the Ranger's orders. There ain't nothing down there but a junk yard. It looks better from up top.
We both had oncoming heat exhaustion before we got back up to face the Ranger. He was not pleased. What a memory though.