Fifty thousand years ago, a giant fireball streaked across the North American sky. It struck the earth in what is now northern Arizona, exploding with the force of 2 ½ million tons of TNT.
The story of the Barringer Meteorite Crater is a story about the collisions and impacts that have shaped the Earth and other planets in our solar system. But it is also a story about how we know what we know about craters, meteorites, and the planet we live on.
The crater is named for Daniel Moreau Barringer, a Philadelphia mining engineer. Barringer was one of the first people to claim that the crater was the result of an impact, contradicting the most eminent scientists of his time.