Meteor Crater

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Meteor Crater is a meteorite impact crater located approximately 43 miles (69 km) east of Flagstaff, near Winslow in the northern Arizona desert of the United States. Because the US Department of the Interior Division of Names commonly recognizes names of natural features derived from the nearest post office, the feature acquired the name of "Meteor Crater" from the nearby post office named Meteor.[2] The site was formerly known as the Canyon Diablo Crater, and the meteorite that created the crater is officially called the Canyon Diablo Meteorite, the name that is on all officially labelled fragments of the meteorite. Scientists refer to the crater as Barringer Crater in honor of Daniel Barringer who was first to suggest that it was produced by meteorite impact. The crater is privately owned by the Barringer family through their Barringer Crater Company,[3] which proclaims it to be "the first proven, best-preserved meteorite crater on earth."[4]

Despite its importance as a geological site, the crater is not protected as a national monument, a status that would require federal ownership. It was designated a National Natural Landmark in November 1967.[5]

Meteor Crater lies at an elevation of about 1,740 m (5,709 ft) above sea level. It is about 1,200 m (4,000 ft) in diameter, some 170 m deep (570 ft), and is surrounded by a rim that rises 45 m (150 ft) above the surrounding plains. The center of the crater is filled with 210–240 m (700–800 ft) of rubble lying above crater bedrock.[1] One of the interesting features of the crater is its squared-off outline, believed to be caused by pre-existing regional jointing (cracks) in the strata at the impact site.[6]

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