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Texas Attractions: Odessa Meteor Crater and Museum
Location: Southwest of Odessa (see below)
About the Odessa Meteor Crater and Museum:
Around 20,000 years ago, a meteorite weighting perhaps 1,000 tons slammed into the Permian Basin in Texas. The crater it left behind is the second-largest in the United States, trailing only the famous Arizona crater.
However, do not visit the Odessa Meteor Crater and Museum expecting to see a huge hole in the ground, as with the Arizona crater. Fact is, if it weren't for the signs indicating the area, nobody would be able to tell a crater even existed here.
That's because over the 20,000 years since impact, the Odessa Crater was filled in with silt and sedimentary rocks, so that today there are only a few feet of elevation changes and from ground level a "crater" doesn't appear at all. (From an aerial view, the outline of the Odessa Crater is much easier to make out.)
However, anyone interested in astronomy, geology, or natural history will likely still enjoy a visit to the Odessa Meteor Crater and Museum. The museum is open Tuesday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m., and Sunday 1-6 p.m.
Self-guided tours along "Crater trail" are available daily 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Signs along the trail point out features and explain their significance.
The Odessa Meteor Crater and Museum are located 10 miles southwest of Odessa. Take exit 108 off Interstate 20, then follow signs to the crater.
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