Tektites are pieces of glass made when rock on Earth's surface is melted by the intense heat and pressure of a large meteorite impact.
The impact blasts the molten rock high into the air, and before it solidifies the air pressure warps and twists it into a bizarre variety of shapes. Dumbbells form when the rapid spinning of an elongated oval blob pulls the two ends apart. Teardrop shapes are simply halves of broken dumbbells. Small button-shaped tektites form when air friction pushes small, thin waves of the molten droplet backward to form a round overhanging skirt.
Topic: Earth Science
Subtopic: Minerals and Resources
Keywords: Astrogeology, Astrophysics, Earth (Planet)--Surface, Glass, Meteorite craters, Meteorites, Rocks, Tektite