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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Canyon Diablo

Canyon Diablo (USNM 401)
Photo by Chip Clark. Click to zoom.
Catalog Number USNM 401
Meteorite Type IAB
Locality Arizona, United States
Weight 3,060 g

From the exhibit

From the tiniest meteoroid to the largest planet, bodies sweep through the Solar System at tens of thousands of kilometers per hour. When collisions occur and they still do the enormity of the impact can surpass anything in human experience.

Only in the past century did we begin to understand this violent process. And not until the 1950s did we realize the crucial role impacts have played in forming our world and other bodies in the Solar System.

Scientists began to recognize Earth’s many impact craters only after 1905, when industrialist Daniel Barringer showed that what we now call Meteor Crater, in Arizona, was excavated by a meteorite collision.


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