50,000 years ago a giant meteorite traveling at 26,000 mph struck the desert floor. The explosive impact created a spectacular crater 0.74 miles in diameter and 550 feet deep — that remains extremely well preserved to this day. It hurtled meteorite fragments several miles in all directions.
Fragments that lay on the surface and oxidized over time are best described as “meteorite shale,” since their layered appearance bears some visual resemblance to terrestrial shale (even though they are of meteoritic origin). Although weathered by their long exposure to Earth’s elements, these shale fragments are authentic remnants of the crater forming meteorite. They retain some extraterrestrial nickel-iron and will attract to a strong magnet. Meteor Crater lies on private land and searching for meteorites is no longer permitted at the site; so, pieces like these, legally collected during the 1940s and 1950s are highly desirable… and they are also actual visitors from outer space!