Cellpic Sunday – Meteor Crater

Meteor Crater

Near Winslow, Arizona.

For a decade, twice a year we traveled I-40 between Albuquerque New Mexico, and Flagstaff Arizona on our way to Buckeye or on our way home to Fargo. Every year we went past the signs that show us the turn-off to the giant meteor crater. In December, we headed back to Albuquerque to celebrate Christmas with my sister and niece. It was December 22 that we finally took the very short detour off I-40 to visit the crater. Well, the truth is, we tried to stop in 2020, but they were closed due to the pandemic. But I digress…

This part of Arizona is part of the Colorado Plateau, a desert region near the borders of Colorado, Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico. The area, mostly high desert is a beautiful part of the country and, according to Wikipedia, contains the greatest concentration of national parks and monuments outside of Washington DC.

Around 50,000 years ago, a meteor estimated to be about 160 ft (50 m) across struck the earth at speeds suggested anywhere from 12 to 20 km/sec (29,000 to 45,000 mph). The meteor vaporized on contact leaving only a few fragments of nickel-iron as clues to the energy of the impact.

Now owned by the family of one of the men who first discovered the crater, then filed mining claims and purchased the surrounding property, the Barringer Crater is not a public site. In a future Travel Tuesday post, we’ll get into greater detail about the Meteor Center and the tours and educational opportunities available at the Barringer Space Museum.

About the photo: From one of the several viewing platforms, I captured several views of the crater with my Samsung S20U cell phone. The high desert is visited by snow each winter and prior to our arrival, the area was covered with a light snow cover, the remnants of which were still visible on the south rim of the crater.

Once I downloaded the images into Lightroom, I used Lightroom’s panorama function to join the images creating an image that was over 12,000 by 7,000 pixels. From that image, I cropped and tweaked, finally moving the image to Luminar AI for final touches. If you’d like to view the final image in 4K HD, click on the photo above to view it on my Flickr site.

John Steiner

49 comments

  1. I visited this many years ago during a trip to the Grand Canyon. You got a nice shot. When you’re standing there, it’s difficult to get a good idea of its real size.

  2. I was fascinated by this place when we visited years ago, but didn’t have a camera up to capturing its scale properly. You’ve done a great job stitching these together – very impressive!

      • I saw it with my boy about 20 years ago…we were on our way from one place to another. I’ve got some great photos (of boy in front of crater). Also of interest – have you seen the VLA? I took a day just to see that and sit and wait for the monstrosities to move and creak. I got a glimpse into the control room. I couldn’t go inside the room – “rules.”

      • Several years ago, we visited the VLA. Very interesting, but they didn’t move on the day we were there. It was a chilly day, I took a few pics and headed back to the warmth of the car. >grin<

  3. Here’s my post for Cell Pic Sunday. What a wonderful time we had. Even the text messages were fun. I’m disappointed you turned down the new Lamborgini, though! LOL Thanks for sharing your picture of us. It really is a great picture of all of us.

  4. […] John of Journeys by Johnbo and his lovely wife Lynn drove an hour to meet us. I think John might be a frequent winner of Trivial Pursuit. Not sure.  What I do know is he and Lynn love to explore out of the way places, embrace history and fun facts, and enjoy people they meet along the way. Join him with other accomplished photographers of Lens-Artists, and with your favorite cell photo of the week on Sundays.  […]

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