The Barringer Meteor Crater- A short side trip.
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While we're here in Arizona, we thought we'd stop by and show you the famous Barringer Meteor Crater. It's a giant hole in the middle of the Arizona desert.
This crater measures 4,000 feet across, 560 feet in depth, and has a 2.4 mile perimeter. It was caused 50,000 years ago when a huge, iron-nickel meteorite, traveling at 40,000 miles per hour, struck the rock plain of Northern Arizona.
Believe it or not, this crater is privately owned. It was purchased by a man named Barringer who spent over 27 years attempting to find the giant rock beneath. The venture cost Barringer and his associates over $600,000 ($10 million in today's money), but Barringer never realized his dream of a mining bonanza. He did, however, suceed in convincing the scientific community that the giant hole was caused by impact .
Since the terrain of the crater closely resembles that of the moon, NASA designated it as one of the official training sites for the Apollo Astronauts.Today the area is alive with tourist center, gift shop, RV Park and guided tours of the giant hole. The Visitor Center includes the Astronaut Hall of Fame and an Astronaut Memorial is also located at the site.
For more information, see the Barringer Crater web site, or The Meteor Crater web site, created by the company that manages the now huge tourist site.