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The Canyon Diablo Meteorite comes from the plains around the faous Meteor Crater in northern Arizona, 35 miles east of Flagstaff. The meteorite is named after the nearest landmark, which is the winding, dry, Canyon Diablo 3 miles west of the impact site.

Meteor crater had it’s birth approximately 50,000 years ago when a huge iron-nickel meteorite, most likely a piece of an asteroid, streaked through the Northern Arizona sky, impacting in the flat plains and leaving a crater 4000 feet across and 700 feet deep. The meteorite is estimated to have been about 160 feet across and weighing several hundred thousand tons. The earth was struck with an explosive force in excess of 20 million tons of TNT.

Modern settlers did not discover meteor crater until the 1870s. It was at first thought to be of volcanic origin. It was not until the early 1900s that the theory was posed that Meteor Crater was caused by a meteorite impact. There was a belief by Daniel Moreau Barringer that a huge meteorite weighing millions of tons must lie below the floor of the crater. A mining claim was filed and drilling operations began in 1905 in search of the meteorite. Drilling continued off and on until 1929 when it became evident that there was no meteorite to be found. A meteorite of this great size and traveling at the speed required to blow such a crater in the Arizona plains also generated enough kinetic energy to generate enough heat to vaporize the meteorite nearly completely.



Metallic Spheroids from Meteor Crater.

canyondiablospheroids7.JPG (132929 bytes)  1/2 Gram Vial of .7 mm Spheroids - $50-


canyondiablospheroids14.jpg (131374 bytes)  1/2 Gram Vial of 1.4 mm Spheroids - $50-


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The vast majority of the impacting body that created the famous Meteor Crater vaporized during the impact.   This created a cloud of hot iron vapor.  As the cloud cooled, the iron started to condense and fall from the sky as an iron rain.  The soil within 5 miles of the crater contains a large quantity of these Fe-Ni droplets but they are very difficult to separate out from the soil.  Dr. Nininger realized that these spheroids probably represented the "missing main mass" of the meteorite that others had believed still would be found deep in the crater.  These spheroids were originally gathered by Dr. Nininger and sold to a long-time collector.  I was lucky enough to acquire these spheroids from that collector.  The spheroids are sorted into two sizes.  The top bottle contains 1/2 gram of the small spheroids which are approximately .7 mm in diameter.  The bottom bottle contains 1/2 gram of the larger spheroids which are approximately 1.4 mm in diameter.   As with all my meteorites, these specimens come with an identification card.  These spheroids are rarely offered.  Don't miss out!!!



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