of the natural wonders are known for their beauty. The Meteor
Crater is not one of them. It looks like a big hole in the desert.
It was caused by a meteorite hitting the earth thousands of years
ago. A meteorite is a rock that crashed into the earth that came
from outer space.
The crater is 4,145 feet across, and 570 feet deep and is the largest impact crater in the whole entire world. There are others in Mexico, Antarctica, Australia, and Siberia.
In 1871 the Europeans thought it was a clasped top of a volcano. However, in 1902 Dr. Daniel Barringer proved that the rocks around the hole were NOT volcanic and showed a couple of signs that mean it was crushed by an enormous body going at the speed of 43,125 mph. The explosion would have been about forty times as large as the atomic bomb that destroyed the city Hiroshima in Japan in 1945.
At first no one could understand why the crater itself is known as the Barringer Meteor Crater. Some people thought that the meteorite was buried under the ground. Then after a while scientists discovered that this 77,000 ton rock, almost 80 to 100 feet across, had smashed into pieces when it landed.
The meteor crater lies in Arizona between the towns of Flagstaff and Winslow.
In 1946 a meteorite collector who goes by the name of Harvey H. Nininger analyzed the tiny metallic particles mixed into soil around the crater, along with some little "bombs" of melted rock within it. He decided that both particles were solidified droplets, which must have condensed from the cloud of rock and metal at impact. Then he believed this was proof that the crater was created by an explosion. The plain around the crater was covered with chunks of meteoritic iron- over 30 tons of it, scattered all over an area 8 to 10 miles in diameter.
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