Class: Meteorites and Kin
To celebrate finally getting back up and running after this month hiatus I'm going to present a very interesting piece that has to do with my forte: astronomy. This specimen is called a tektite or as a mineral Indochinite (named after where it is found: Indochina). You see when a meteorite falls from the sky it is moving at such a large speed that the impact can be explosive. Some impacts can be hundreds of times the energy of a nuclear bomb. This impact creates intense heat and the rock that isn't instantly 'vaporized' or blasted from the scene melts from the heat and can fly through the air cooling down and re-solidifying. This is a type of metamorphic rock called impactite. As the rock flies through the air and cools down it forms this typical tear drop shape.
"Tektites are formed when a huge meteor collides with the Earth with such force that melted rock and meteorite are thrown at high speeds into the upper atmosphere. Here they cool and harden, preserving their splashed, melted shape. Tektites are found in areas that are sometimes thousands of miles across. These particular specimens are jet black and come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some show aerodynamic ablation indicating high velocity flights through the Earth's atmosphere."
A very interesting and cosmic piece to add to the growing collection at the Sholesonian for sure. And be sure to check out this Tektite informative page.