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Barringer Crater, also known as Meteor Crater, is a 1,300-meter (0.8
mile) diameter, 174-meter (570-feet) deep hole in the flat-lying desert
sandstones 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) west of Winslow, Arizona. Since
the 1890s geologic studies here played a leading role in developing an
understanding of impact processes on the Earth, the moon and elsewhere
in the solar system. This view was acquired by the Landsat 4 satellite
on December 14, 1982. It shows the crater much as a lunar crater might
appear through a telescope. Morning sun illumination is from the
southeast (lower right). The prominent gully meandering across the scene
is known as Canyon Diablo. It drains northward toward the Little
Colorado River and eventually to the Grand Canyon. The Interstate 40
highway crosses and nearly parallels the northern edge of the scene. The
ejecta blanket around the crater appears somewhat lighter than the
surrounding terrain, perhaps in part due to its altered mineralogic
content. However, foot traffic at this interesting site may have scarred
and lightened the terrain too. Also, the roughened surface here catches
the sunlight on the southerly slopes and protects a highly reflective
patchy snow cover in shaded northerly slopes, further lightening the
terrain as viewed from space on this date.
Image Size: 16.9 km x 12.5 km
Colors: Bands 1 (blue), 2 (green) + 4 (near infrared), 3 (red)
in blue, green, and red, respectively.
Note: This image was scanned from physical media.
Germany’s Ries Crater (or Nördlinger Ries) is not easily discerned in space-based images. The crater’s existence was probably just as subtle to the medieval Europeans who established a settlement inside it and unknowingly matched their 1-kilometer- (0.6-mile-) wide city to the likely diameter of the meteorite that formed the crater.