MNN Galleries

7 asteroid impacts on Earth

By: Katherine Butler on Nov. 25, 2012, 12:07 p.m.
4 of 9

Barringer Crater, Arizona

The first crater to be identified as the result of an impact is the Barringer Crater, also known as the Meteor Crater. NASA believes a massive meteor collided with what is now the surface of northern Arizona about 50,000 years ago.

Only in the past few decades have experts considered impact craters worthy of scientific notice. The origin of the Barringer Crater was questioned for many years. Fragments from a meteorite that struck the area ultimately proved that the crater was the result of an impact.