KNAU and Arizona News
4:11 pm
Fri June 5, 2009

Lowell Observatory Meteorite

Flagstaff, AZ – Intro) Later this morning, a piece of northern Arizona history will find a new home. It's part of a new display at Lowell Observatory to be unveiled later this morning. Arizona Public Radio's Theresa Bierer has more.

It's a 5-hundred-35 pound piece of Meteor Crater about the size of small car engine. The meteorite's new home is Lowell Observatory Visitor's Center in Flagstaff. The observatory's Kevin Schindler says the meteorite is an important part of the science and history of the region.

(Soundbite) It represents a landmark of northern Arizona landscape because it's from the meteor that hit 50,000 years ago and created Meteor Crater. It's the best preserved meteorite impact known on earth.

TB) Schindler says the chunk of nickel-iron had been exhibited for nearly a century at the Verkamp store in Grand Canyon National Park. Now that the store has closed, he says he's pleased the history of meteorite can be preserved at Lowell Observatory.

"And the fact that that piece of science history was on display at a place like the Grand Canyon where millions of people have seen it and touched it and come back years later and remember it. And the stories about presidents who have visited the canyon. And the history and personal history for a lot of people it makes it an important story. "

Meteor Crater is also known as Berringer Crater, named after the family who owns the land where the meteor struck between Flagstaff and Winslow. A dedication for the meteorite and informational display will take place later this morning with Lowell Observatory's advisory board. Steve Verkamp and Drew Barringer will give short speeches during the ceremony. In Flagstaff, for Arizona Public Radio, I'm Theresa Bierer.