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How close could you be to witness Arizona's meteor crater form and still live to tell the tale?

Matthew Petty, Scotts Valley, California
RELATED TOPICS: METEORS
Barringer Meteor Crater
If the Barringer Meteor Crater impact event in Arizona occurred in a modern city, it would completely destroy it. As the question implies, distance from the point of impact is directly related to one’s survival. The key to determining a safe distance lies in the energy of the impact event. Estimates of that energy exist, but the range of uncertainty can have significant consequences. If the energy was sufficiently small, one could have had a spectacular view of the impact event from Anderson Mesa, a long volcanic ridge about 15 miles (24 kilometers) west of the crater. However, for some of the larger energy estimates, that location may have been uncomfortably close, if not deadly. I have often thought that a very nice — and safe — vantage point would have been Mount Elden, a towering volcanic dome in Flagstaff nearly 40 miles (60km) northwest of the crater.

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