Minerals, Metals, and Other Materials

Rocks and Minerals

What is a tektite?

Tektites are silica-rich glass objects (rocks) found scattered in selected regions of Earth’s surface. They are generally black, oblong, teardrop, or dumbbell-shaped, and several centimeters in length. They are formed from molten rock resulting when a meteorite, asteroid, or comet fragment impacts Earth’s surface. The molten rock is hurled high into the atmosphere, where it rapidly cools into its unique shape and physical characteristics. Their mode of formation is considered indisputable evidence of such impacts. Tektites range from 0.7 to 35 million years in age.


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