Meteor Crater Animation
Collisions in Space and on the Earth
This animation illustrates the probable path the original meteoroid took to reach Earth and form the Meteor Crater. Scientists estimate approximately 500 million years ago, a collision occurred in the Asteroid Belt in which an iron-nickel core fragment was sent on a slow path towards Earth. About 40,000 - 50,000 BC, the 50 meter wide meteor breached the atmosphere and collided with the ground in present-day Arizona, carving out the 1,200 meter wide crater in an instant.