About 50,000 years ago, a 45 meter wide iron-nickel meteorite plunged into the desert of Earth's American southwest leaving a scar which still persists to this day. Scientists estimate that the meteor impact packed the energy of 20 million tons of TNT or about the same as a hydrogen bomb! When the meteor slammed into the desert, it punched through the soft limestone sediments before vaporizing. The resulting explosion excavated a classic bowl-shaped crater 1.2 kilometers in diameter and 200 meters deep. House-sized blocks of limestone were thrown clear of the event which left behind an elevated rim.