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Aerodynamic Analysis of Tektites and Their Parent BodiesExperiment and analysis indicate that the button-type australites were derived from glassy spheres which entered or re-entered the atmosphere as cold solid bodies; in case of average-size specimens, the entry direction was nearly horizontal and the entry speed between 6.5 and 11.2 km/sec. Terrestrial origin of such spheres is impossible because of extremely high deceleration rates at low altitudes. The limited extension of the strewn fields rules out extraterrestrial origin of clusters of such spheres because of stability considerations for clusters in space. However, tektites may have been released as liquid droplets from glassy parent bodies ablating in the atmosphere of the earth. The australites then have skipped together with the parent body in order to re-enter as cold spheres. Terrestrial origin of a parent body would require an extremely violent natural event. Ablation analysis shows that fusion of opaque siliceous stone into glass by aerodynamic heating is impossible.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Document Type
Other - NASA Technical Report (TR)
Adams, E. W.
(NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL United States)
Huffaker, R. M.
(NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1962
Subject Category
Report/Patent Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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