Flying glass

Part of Hall of Meteorites.

D.2.2. Flying glass hero.jpg

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.