The Wolfe Creek meteorite is an iron meteorite that came down in Australia about 120,000 years ago and caused an impressive crater 875 metres in diameter and 60 metres deep. This is the second best-preserved crater on Earth. The local Aborigines call the Read more.
Wolfe Creek crater
The Wolfe Creek meteorite is an iron meteorite that landed in Australia about 120,000 years ago. With a diameter of 15 metres and an estimated weight of 17,000 tonnes, it left behind an impressive crater that is well preserved to this day. In fact, it is the second best-preserved crater on Earth (After Barringer Crater in Arizona)
Discovery of the meteorite
In 1947, the crater was spotted after an aerial reconnaissance and two months later it was examined on site. The crater was named after the nearby stream (Wolfe Creek) which was named after gold prospector Robert Wolfe who also founded the town of Halls Creek during the gold rush. The crater is 875 metres in diameter 60 metres deep from the rim to the bottom. Small fragments of the iron meteorite have been found near the crater and round balls of iron oxide called 'shale balls' that can weigh up to 250 kg.
Aboriginal meteorite stories
The local Djaru Aborigines have a very different name for the crater and call it Kandimalal. They have therefore known of its existence for much longer. Many stories circulate about the crater's origins. The most remarkable and surprisingly accurate one is the following:
One day, the evening star passed the crescent moon so close that The Evening Star got too hot and fell down. This caused a huge explosion and flash of light, followed by a cloud of dust. People were so shocked that it took a long time before they dared to go close to the crater to see what had happened. When they finally went, they realised that this was where the evening star had fallen to earth.