Henbury Meteorites Conservation Reserve

Henbury Crater, fot: Michael BemmerlHenbury Meteorites Conservation Reserve is a protected area in the Northern Territory of Australia. The reserve is located 145 kilometres south west of Alice Springs and contains number of craters, which were formed when a fragmented meteorite hit the earth’s surface.

Henbury is one of five meteorite impact sites in Australia associated with actual meteorite fragments and one of the world’s best preserved examples of a small crater field. At Henbury there are 13 to 14 craters ranging from 7 to 180 metres in diameter and up to 15 metres in depth that were formed when the meteor broke up before impact. Some 1,2 tonnes of iron-nickel fragments have been recovered from the site of IIIAB octaedrite type. The site has been dated to 4.2±1.9 thousand years ago based on the cosmogenic 14C terrestrial age of the meteorite.

The craters are named for Henbury Station, a nearby cattle station named in 1875 for the family home of its founders at Henbury in Dorset, England. The craters were discovered in 1899 by the manager of the station, then went uninvestigated until interest was stirred when the Karoonda meteorite fell on South Australia in 1930. The first scientific investigations of the site were conducted by A.R. Alderman of the University of Adelaide who published the results in a 1932 paper entitled The Meteorite Craters at Henbury Central Australia. Numerous studies have been undertaken since.

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