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(Barringer Meteorite Crater)

Author: James Tobin [Google]

It has been very nearly one hundred years since  D. M. Barringer first climbed the slope of Meteor Crater and gazed into its gapping expanse. He was captured by it, and it became one of the focuses of his life. Each year visitors from all over our world come to the Crater and look with the same wonder at what can result when the Earth is struck by an asteroid. A hundred years ago there was no proven crater on the Earth formed by an impact. Today, craters are being added to the list regularly and it is a long list. Some are ancient with little remaining, some are young likely having happen when people were present. Many are larger than Meteor Crater, but all have been proven to be the result of impacts by much of what was first learned at Meteor Crater in Arizona.

Location35 degrees 3′ N., 111 degrees 2′ W
Diameter 4,100 feet (1.2 km)
Depth 570 feet (173 m)
ShapeRoughly circular bowl

Rim height above surrounding plain

120-200 ft (36-61m)
Volume82,000,000 cubic yards
(62,700,000 cubic meters)
Rocks displaced by impact 300-400 million tons
(272-363 million metric tons)
ElevationHighest point on rim 5,723 feet (1,744 m) above sea level
Composition of Canyon Diablo meteorites Iron 92%, Nickel 7.1%, Cobalt .50%, Gallium 80 ppm,* Germanium 320ppm, Iridium 2ppm, Platinum 8ppm.

*ppm is the abbreviation for PARTS PER MILLION

We would like to thank Meteor Crater Enterprises, Inc., for their generosity in letting us explore the crater area. We need to say at this point that this was a special tour. Tours around the rim and in the crater bottom are not permitted. Also, for scientific reasons collecting of meteorites within an area extending several miles around the crater is illegal and violators are vigorously prosecuted. To preserve the meteorites in situ for future study no more hunting of any kind is allowed. The text and photos may not be reproduced or distributed in any manner without the written permission of both The Meteorite Exchange, Inc. and Meteor Crater Enterprises, Inc.

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