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USA Meteor Crater (Arizona)

Some fifty thousand years ago a huge meteor sped through our atmosphere and crashed into the land that nowdays is called Arizona, USA. It moved by the speed of 64 000 km per hour (40 000 miles an hour) and just within seconds created a huge crater that is more than 1 km wide and 200 meters. A 60-story building could hide inside of it easily. A shock wave of hurricane force winds flashed out in every direction.

And what happened with the meteor? About 1% had burned when falling through the atmosphere. Another small percentage vaporized upon the tremendous impact then recondensed into tiny spheroids. About a half spread into fragments that „rained“ all around the crater and the other half is now buried in form of very condensed iron-nickel spherules about 1 km bellow the earth.

The biggest fragment (Holsinger meteorite) ever found is now exhibited in the Meteor Crater museum. Estimates say the original meteor was about 45 meters.

What here: The visitors center feachers: cosmic museum, „space“ and other souvenirs shop, sandwich shop and a platform from which you can see the crater. However there are almost none possibilities to walk around the crater, except for a little „asphalted“ path accessible only with a tour guide. The tour takes about one hour and comes included in the ticket price.

The ticket price is 15 USD (a little high to me, but hey when do you get the chance to see a meteor crater).

The Meteor Crater is on private property and according to the authorities is inaccessible from other points (there are dirt roads around, however did not have the time to test them).

More info on:
How to get here: Take exit 233 Meteor Crater from I-40 and follow the road for about 15 minutes until getting to the visitor center. A ride from Flagstaff is about half an hour, from Holbrook 45 minutes, 3 hours and 45 minutes from Albuquerque, 3 hours from Phoenix and five from Las Vegas.