Guided Exploration: Impacts main content.

Guided Exploration: Impacts



Overview: This section explores what we can learn from meteorite impacts, the probability of future impacts, and what craters tell us about the dynamic history of the solar system and the histories of planets.

1. Earth Impact

Explore this area and consider the various factors — such as the size of the object, its speed and trajectory, and where it lands — that determine how catastrophic an impact could be.

2. Meteor Crater

Scientists determined that the 1,200-meter-wide Barringer crater in Arizona was caused by a meteorite, not a volcano. Explore the mini diorama and the evidence.

3. On the Moon

Unlike Earth, the Moon is a “dead” planetary body — it has no life, no atmosphere, and almost no water or geologic activity — so it has remained largely unaltered for most of its history. Investigate how lunar craters allow scientists to piece together Earth and Moon’s shared history of asteroid bombardment.