November’s club field trip saw 10 members drive out to Arizona’sfamousMeteor Crater participating in a guided tour lasting about an hour.here is a brief description of the Craters history copied fromWikipediafor those that have not visited the Crater.
The crater was created about 50,000 years ago during the Pleistocene epoch when the local climate on the Colorado Plateau was much cooler and damper. The area was an open grassland dotted with woodlands inhabited by woolly mammoths and giant ground sloths.
The object that excavated the crater was a nickel-ironmeteorite about 50 meters, (160feet), across. The speed of the impact has been a subject of some debate. Modeling initially suggested that the meteorite struck at up to 20 kilometers per second, (12 miles per second), but more recent research suggests the impact was substantially slower, at 12.8 kilometers per second, (8.0 miles per second). It is believed that about half of the impactor’s bulk was vaporized during its descent through the atmosphere.