Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.
November 17, 1997
Explanation: What happens when a meteor hits the ground? Usually nothing much, as most meteors are small, and indentations they make are soon eroded away. 49,000 years ago, however, a large meteor created Barringer Meteor Crater in Arizona, pictured above. Barringer is over a kilometre across. In 1920, it was the first feature on Earth to be recognized as an impact crater. Today, over 100 terrestrial impact craters have been identified. Early this morning, the Leonid Meteor Shower reaches its peak, although no impacts of this magnitude are expected.
Authors & editors:
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC
&: Michigan Tech. U.