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Meteor Crater, Midland

#10 of 16 in Things to do in Midland
Landmark · Tourist Spot
The Odessa Meteor Crater is a meteorite crater in the southwestern part of Ector County, southwest of the city of Odessa of West Texas, United States. It is accessible approximately 3mi south of Interstate 20 at Exit 108 (Moss Road). This is one of three impact crater sites found in Texas, the others being the older and much larger Sierra Madera crater and the Marquez crater.The Handbook of Texas Online describes the Odessa meteor crater as the largest of several smaller craters in the immediate area that were formed by the impact of thousands of octahedrites (an iron metallic type) that fell in prehistoric times.The web site of the University of Texas of the Permian Basin (UTPB, Center for Energy and Economic Diversification), identifies five craters at the Odessa site and shows a distribution map of the meteorite fragments recovered from the area. The recoveries have generally come from an area to the north and northwest of the main crater site, with only a few found to the south. They indicate that the structure of the main crater, because it was one of the earliest to be recognized and studied, is now used to name similar impact sites on a worldwide basis. Over 1500 meteorites have been recovered from the surrounding area over the years, the largest of which weighed approximately 300lb, but excavations in the main crater confirm that there is no meteorite mass underground and probably never has been. The site has been designated as a National Natural Landmark by the National Park Service, and a small information area and nature trail has been set up on-site for a self-guided tour.
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Meteor Crater reviews

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  • There is now a small, but worthwhile museum on site about this crater and others around the world. Though a lot of the crater is filled due to sand fill over the last 62,000 years, one can still get....  more »
  • This was a fun little stop. I’ll admit, the crater is a little underwhelming since it’s mostly filled with dust and dirt at this point. The museum has a great little collection of meteorites from all....  more »
  • So informative! The museum is little, but can tell you a lot. Tons of meteorite examples from all over the world. They actually have a walking path into the crater itself, which is really cool. It is a small little park, but admission is free. Please consider donating, so more people can see this amazing place! 2nd biggest crater in the US. Lots of wildlife.
  • It is a small museum but there is stuff to see. There are restrooms, picnic tables, a short hiking path that goes around the crater. It's easy to get to and it was a nice place to visit and take a break from our road trip. There was no fee when we visited. It's worth the short drive off the highway. Go check it out!

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