What is Meteor Crater?
Meteor Crater, also known as Barringer Crater, is a large impact crater located in northern Arizona, United States. It is one of the best-preserved impact craters on Earth and is approximately 50,000 years old. The crater was created by the impact of a meteorite, estimated to be about 50 meters (160 feet) in diameter, traveling at a speed of around 26,000 miles per hour (42,000 kilometers per hour).
Meteor Crater is roughly 1,200 meters (3,900 feet) in diameter, with a rim that rises about 45 meters (148 feet) above the surrounding plain. The impact of the meteorite caused an explosion equivalent to about 20 million tons of TNT and resulted in widespread destruction of the local environment. Over time, the crater has undergone weathering and erosion, but it remains a prominent landmark and an important site for the study of impact craters.
Meteor Crater is a popular tourist attraction and has also been used for scientific research. It provides insights into the processes and effects of meteorite impacts, including the formation of impact craters, shock metamorphism of rocks, and the distribution of impact debris. It is also used as an analog site for studying planetary impact craters and their implications for planetary geology and astrobiology.