Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.
July 11, 1999
Explanation: What happens when a meteor hits the ground? Usually nothing much, as most meteors are small, and indentations they make are soon eroded away. 49,000 years ago, however, a large meteor created Barringer Meteor Crater in Arizona, pictured above. Barringer is over a kilometer across. In 1920, it was the first feature on Earth to be recognized as an impact crater. Today, over 100 terrestrial impact craters have been identified. Recent computer modeling now indicates how some of the Canyon Diablo impactor melted during the impact that created Barringer.
Authors & editors:
Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.