Canyon Diablo (AMNH 9) main content.

Canyon Diablo (AMNH 9)

Part of Hall of Meteorites.

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Many of the thousands of Canyon Diablo fragments found at Meteor Crater have been heavily weathered. Over the years, wind, water and drastic temperature changes have combined to slowly break them apart.

A meteorite fragment, such as the sliced sample of Canyon Diablo (bottom), can eventually rust as water seeps into its crystal structure and cracks it. Cracked and rusted meteorites are called shale balls (right and below), for their resemblance to the sedimentary rock shale. Fragile shale balls break apart into fragments (in dish below).