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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Odessa in Ector County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

Odessa Meteor Crater

 
 
Odessa Meteor Crater Marker image. Click for full size.
By Richard Denney, April 18, 2014
1. Odessa Meteor Crater Marker
Inscription. The Odessa Meteor Crater, second largest in the United States and sixth in the world, was formed some 20,000 years ago when an iron meteorite believed to weigh 1,000 tons crashed into the earth near this site. Impact was so great that 4.3 million cubic feet of rock was expelled or shifted, forming a cone-shaped crater 500 feet wide and nearly 100 feet deep.

Action of wind and water during subsequent centuries filled the cavity with silt so that today its concave surface is only five to six feet below the level of the surrounding plain. It retains its original broad diameter, surrounded by a low, rock-buttressed rim created when limestone formations were shattered and forced to the surface by the burrowing mass.

Fragments of the meteorite collected around the crater indicate that it was 90 per cent iron, with small amounts of cobalt, copper, carbon, phosphorus, sulfur and chromium. Although the mass has never been found, it is believed to lie embedded 170 feet below the surface.

In addition to the principal crater, scientific investigation has revealed the presence of smaller adjoining depressions, formed by less massive bodies that fell in the same meteor shower which sent the large mass to earth. Although not now discernible, they were from 15 to 50 feet wide and from seven to 17 feet deep. Neither penetrated
Odessa Meteor Crater Marker image. Click for full size.
By Richard Denney, April 18, 2014
2. Odessa Meteor Crater Marker
deeply enough to encounter solid rock but was formed primarily in clay-like deposits.

Meteors are believed to have been formed by the breaking-up of a planet similar in size and composition to the earth. The body is thought to have been part of the solar system... perhaps the mythical planet between Mars and Jupiter whose disruption must have created the asteroids.
 
Erected 1962 by State Historical Survey Committee. (Marker Number 3668.)
 
Location. 31° 45.428′ N, 102° 28.721′ W. Marker is in Odessa, Texas, in Ector County. Marker is on Meteor Crater Road 2.1 miles south of West Murphy Street when traveling south. Click for map. Marker is located in front of the Odessa Meteor Crater Museumm. Marker is at or near this postal address: 3100 Meteor Crater Road, Odessa TX 79766, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 9 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Odessa Meteor Craters (approx. 2.5 miles away but has been reported missing); The Caprock (approx. 4.5 miles away); Well's Point (approx. 6.5 miles away); Penwell (approx. 7.8 miles away); The Henderson House (approx. 8.7 miles away); Odessa
Main Crater Sign image. Click for full size.
By Richard Denney, April 18, 2014
3. Main Crater Sign
Sign providing additional detail on main crater. Original crater was 100' deep. High resolution photo; Click on photo to read sign.
(approx. 8.9 miles away); The Jackrabbit (approx. 8.9 miles away); World's First Championship Jackrabbit Roping (approx. 8.9 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Odessa.
 
Categories. Science & Medicine
 
Panorama of Crater image. Click for full size.
By Richard Denney
4. Panorama of Crater
Odessa Meteor Crater #2 image. Click for full size.
By Richard Denney, April 18, 2014
5. Odessa Meteor Crater #2
Smaller crater created by a second meteorite. High resolution photo; Click on photo to read sign.
165 Shaft image. Click for full size.
By Richard Denney, April 18, 2014
6. 165 Shaft
Shaft dug in 1940s trying to locate the meteorite. No meteorite was found. High resolution photo; Click to read sign.
National Natural Landmark Sign image. Click for full size.
By Richard Denney, April 18, 2014
7. National Natural Landmark Sign
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Richard Denney of Austin, Texas. This page has been viewed 385 times since then and 8 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on , by Richard Denney of Austin, Texas. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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