Barringer crater

Barringer Crater

Aerial photo of Barringer (Meteor) Crater. Image credit: NASA.

The Barringer crater is the best known and best preserved impact crater on Earth. Named after Daniel Barringer and still owned by his family, it is also known as Meteor Crater, Coon Butte, and Canyon Diablo.


Measuring 1.2 kilometer across and 175 meters deep, with a rim 45 meters higher on average than the surrounding plain, the crater lies 55 kilometers east of Flagstaff, Arizona, at coordinates 35° 02' N, 111° 01' W. The Barringer crater was formed about 50,000 years ago by the impact of an iron meteorite, some 50 meters across and weighing several hundred thousand tons. Most of the meteorite was vaporized or melted, leaving only numerous, mostly small fragments of the octahedrite type, scattered up to 7 kilometers from the impact site. Only about 30 tons, including a 693-kilogram sample, are known to have been recovered.