What's the biggest meteorite? (Beginner)

What are the biggest meteorites on record ever to hit the earth?

The biggest meteorite that we have recovered is the Hoba, Namibia meteorite that weights around 60 tons and is about 3 meters in diameter. However, over the history of Earth many much larger things have hit it. For example, very early in Earth's history we think the Moon was formed when a Mars-sized planetessimal hit Earth. The object that hit Earth in the Cretaceous and may have led to the extinction of the dinosaurs is estimated to be 6-10 km. And Barringer crater in Arizona (also called meteor crater) was thought to have been created by a meteorite 25 meters in size. In addition, the meteorites that we recover are smaller than the original impactor, because they have been broken up during the impact.

This page was last updated on July 18, 2015.

About the Author

Lynn Carter

Lynn uses radar astronomy to study the planets, especially Venus. She got her PhD in Astronomy from Cornell in Summer 2004 and is now working at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. on the Mars Express radar.

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