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Explorer's Guide to Impact Craters

1. Your investigation starts here

This website is designed for you to join our scientists in-action studying craters, and to conduct your own investigations. Use the navigation on the left to get to all the sections. You're bound to see some words that are bold highlighted. These are scientific terms and when you click them, you'll get our Glossary of Geologic Terms.

2. Get some Background

Getting some background on the subject matter is the first thing a scientist does when starting a new research project. In this case, learning about impact craters. The Background section will give you all the basics, and start your way to becoming an impact crater expert-- yes, that's you!

3. Time to take a Virtual Tour

Visit one of three impact craters from around the world. The Virtual Tours have maps that show you the paths our scientists took while studying them, images will let you see where they went and what the rocks looked like, and movies shot on location will get you up close and personal with the sights and sounds of real field research.

4. What about Simulations?

Once you've gone through the virtual tours, you'll be a pro at studying craters in the field, but what about using computers? Try your hand at modeling the formation of an impact crater using the Simulations tools. Investigate what affects the formation of an impact crater using different impact velocities, masses, and angles.

5. Cool! Impact Rocks!!

Our Impact Rocks section has descriptions of rocks collected at various impact sites. Try to match up the rocks with the descriptions on the tour. 

6. Got questions?

First read through our Frequently Asked Questions. If you cant find your question or still have one that needs answering, just submit it and one of our crater specialists will get back to you!

7. Let us know what you think

How did you like our tools and resources? How can they be improved? What worked for you and what didn't? We are very interested in constructive feedback on any aspect of this website. Educators, which sections of this site did you use with your students? Submit your thoughts in our Feedback form!

8. Still want more?

In our Resources section, you will find scientific papers and conference posters for download, along with related weblinks to continue your investigation.


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