About 50,000 years ago during the last ice age, and traveling at about 26,800 miles per hour, a meteor make a direct hit in NE Arizona. Today it’s a big hit with tourists. Here’s 10 facts to know before you go.

  1. Meteor Crater is privately owned by the Barringer family. Their claim goes back to a 1903 land patent submitted by Daniel Barringer, a mining engineer, who first wanted to mine the site for nickel.
  2. The Barringer ownership claim was approved and signed by then-president Teddy Roosevelt for 640 acres.
  3. Up unto 1892 it was thought the crater was due to earth’s internal forces, such as volcanic eruptions.
  4. In 1906, Barringer working with scientists put forth the idea that the crater was caused by a meteor.
  5. This meteor impact is considered too small for large-scale environment damage but certainly critical at the regional level. At one point in history it was a lake filled with water.
  6. A meteor this size is enough to annihilate a modern city and events such as this are calculated to arise once in 6,000 years.
  7. NASA used the crater to train astronauts for planetary surface operations for the Apollo moon missions in the 1960s and 1970s. NASA also conducted field mobility testing for potential lunar vehicles.
  8. The crater has been used, pretty much non-stop, as a research site to learn about meteors, impacts and effects.
  9. Meteor Crater remains one of the most impressive and well-preserved impact sites.
  10. Visiting the Barringer’s family Meteor Crater has an entry price of $18 for adults, $16 for seniors over 60 and $9 for children aged 6-17. Active U.S. military persons with ID are admitted free of charge. Price of admission includes a well-designed discovery center with exhibits, and theater. The Visitor Center provides an indoor viewing area (the day I was at the crater the winds were up to 100 mph).
Categories: Places

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