50,000 years ago a giant meteorite traveling at 26,000 mph struck the desert floor forming a massive crater 0.74 miles in diameter and 550 feet deep, now known as Arizona’s celebrated Meteor Crater. These amazing iron meteorites are part of the cosmic impactor. The groundbreaking meteoriticist H.H. Nininger studied Meteor Crater for many years during the 1940s and 50s and found specimens miles from the point of impact. Ancient Native Americans are also believed to have used and transported fragments of the meteorite, and may have regarded them as sacred objects which fell from the sky. The crater is not a national park, but a privately owned feature. A ban on meteorite hunting is now strictly enforced by the owners and specimens of this historic and important meteorite are difficult to obtain, these pieces come out of an old collection and were legally collected before the ban. Meteor Crater was the world’s first recognized meteorite crater and was also a training ground for Apollo astronauts who went to the moon in the 1960s and 70s.