Henbury Meteorites Conservation Reserve

- 24.57304133.14785Koordinaten: 24 ° 34 ' 22.9 "S, 133 ° 8' 52.3 " E

Discovery and early exploration

The timing of the impact of a medium sized iron meteorite (Middle octahedrite, group IIIAB ) is before 4200 ± 1900 years, so in the Holocene, dated. Mention was the crater field for the first time in 1899 in the correspondence of the founder of Henbury cattle station, Walter Parke, with the famous anthropologist Frank J. Gillen. The first scientific description was in 1931 by Professor Arthur Alderman of the Adelaide University. In Alderman's report for the first time, radial ejection structures have been described, as they were previously known only from impact structures on the moon. 1931 and 1932 was followed by two expeditions under the leadership of Robert Bedford of Kyancutta. During the first expedition around 200 kg were recovered meteorites fragments. These were predominantly shrapnel, ie Fragments of the impact destroyed and ejected from the craters masses. In 1932, Bedford excavations in the smaller impact craters by. In the crater No. 13, which bears the name " Discovery Crater " in later publications, Bedford took around two meters depth more heavily corroded iron masses with a total weight of ~ 200 kg. In addition, Bedford discovered a stray field from other meteorite fragments, the 1-5 km northeast of the actual crater field stretched. It was not a question Impaktschrapnelle, but meteorites with unique Ablationsmerkmalen, ie individual flight history. A total of 1350 individual masses were Alderman and Bedford ~ recovered, of which Bedford's share was slightly more than 425 kg. Much of his records and finds Bedford later sent to the British Museum in London.

Determining the direction of flight

While the research in the following years in the reconstruction of the impact oriented almost exclusively at the position and arrangement of impact structures, remained the position and orientation of the ejecta, and especially the distribution of meteorite fragments, virtually unnoticed. The direction of flight of the Henbury Boliden was therefore given solely based on the size distribution of the individual structures in the crater field up to the nineties with west -southwest to east - northeast. Today we know that this theory can be ruled out due to the main direction of ejection of Kraterschrapnelle to west and southwest. Also in 1932 from Bedford and 1997 documented by McColl scattered field with hundreds of smaller individual masses with individual Ablationshistorie in the northeast of impact structures contradicts this theory. It was only in 2012 succeeded Buhl & McColl taking into account all available data provide clear evidence of the direction of flight of Henbury cars from east -northeast to west - southwest.

Cultural Significance

According to reports of the prospector J. M. Mitchell carries this formation in the Aboriginal culture the name Chindu chinna wh chingi yaku, which translates as " sun sets fire devil rock " means - this would be an indication that the case and the explosion of the meteorite was observed. According to statements made by Alderman Bedford and the origin of Henbury local Aboriginal tribes, however, is unknown crater structures. In the center of the crater field today is a recognized by the Administration of the Conservation Reserve Henbury sanctuary of the Aborigine. The Australian anthropologist Duane W. Hamacher points out in this connection to a taboo of tribal elders, which forbids them to share associated with the aboriginal shrines legends with Europeans.

Touristic development

Since the crater from time to time collect the rare rain in the Outback, they also serve as an important source of water. Since 1934, the main crater is protected as a nature reserve. Henbury Meteorites Conservation Reserve Today was founded in 1983 and includes in addition to the 12 impact structures also most of the meteorite scattering field in the northeast of Crater. Tourist craters were little relevance despite their, seen in Australian standards, short distance from the well-known Uluru for many years, since they are off the beaten track in the outback, and are accessible only via the unpaved Ernest Giles Road. Meanwhile, the stream of visitors is growing, more than 25,000 tourists visit the place every year.