50,000 years ago, a huge iron-nickel meteorite weighing several thousand tonnes approx 150 feet (45 metres) across travelling at 26,000 miles per hour slammed into the Arizona plains. Today it leaves the worlds most famous and best preserved bowl shaped impact crater 550 feet deep (165 metres), 4000 feet across (1200 metres) with a 2.4 mile circumference. Meteor Crater is located 35 miles east of Flagstaff, 20 miles west of Winslow, in Arizona, USA.

Meteor Crater
Meteor Crater

You may think there isn’t much to see here at Meteor Crater, or Barringer Crater or Canyon Diablo Crater as its also known, just a hole in the desert.  Well there is that, its that big it doesn’t fit into single photo, its quite a view.  When this chunk or rock got nudged in space in the asteroid belt and came under Earth’s gravitational influence, the amount of disruption and devastation this impact caused is tremendous.  Evidenced by the house sized boulders that sit on the crater rim.  Even the non space nerds of the family i.e. everyone else, enjoyed the visit.  In the centre of the crater there is a fenced off area with a cutout of an astronaut for size referencing.  You probably can’t see this on the photos.

NASA and the US Geological Survey team provided training for the Apollo astronauts under supervision from Dr Eugene Shoemaker for sampling techniques for when they went to the moon.  Also on display is an Apollo test capsule named Boiler Plate 29A.  A Boilerplate is a non functional craft to test systems.  Boilerplate 29A was used for drop testing to ensure capsules float upright after splash down.  The American Astronaut Wall of Fame lists each astronaut that achieved space flight.


Meteor Crater

Lowell Observatory


Nick Cook. Amateur astronomer, space, history, nerd, extreme dog walker, cat slave, severe tinnitus sufferer. 13.7 billion years in the making - not that much better for it.

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