The most fascinating and significant meteorite impact site on earth was created approx. 50,000 years ago when a meteor ended its 500 million year long race through space on a rendezvous course with earth. Hurtling at approx 26,000 miles per hour, it passed through the earth's atmosphere, and in a blinding flash, struck the rocky plain with an explosive force greater than twenty million tons of TNT. Located in Northern Arizona, east of Flagstaff in the USA, the meteor's impact left a crater nearly a mile across and more than 550 ft deep, resulting in the excavation of a giant bowl-shaped cavity. A 60-story building could rest on its floor and just reach the crater rim. The topographical terrain of the Meteor Crater so closely resembles that of the moon.
The Meteor Crater, also known as Barringer Meteorite Crater, represents the most basic type of impact crater in the solar system. In 1968, this Meteor Crater was designated a Natural Landmark by the Department of Interior, USA.
And NASA made it an official training site for the Apollo Astronauts! No wonder the Crater has been a tourist attraction and thousands of people are visiting the place to have a look at this unique place of devastation and also to view the movie 'IMPACT! The Mystery of Meteor Crater' in an 80-seat big screen movie theater with surround sound.
- P.K. Balasubramanian