How come I always see meteorite craters with no
meteorites in them? How big was the meteorite that formed the Barringer
crater in Arizona?
Picture a big, huge rock slamming into the Earth at a high speed. On
impact, the energy of moving and coming to complete sudden stop will
just crush everything, and it will turn into dust. To see the energy
transformaion, just take a ball of clay and slam it into the floor. See
how it distorts? Just try to now see it as a rock. As the rock hits,
it will drive the dirt upward and out as it creates a crater. The rock
breaks up into tiny pieces and gets thrown from the crater. Don't
forget that since the event happened not last week, erosion of the
weather here on Earth will also wear things away.
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Update: June 2012