Dictionary

Tectites

Tectites

Name given in 1900 by Austrian geologist Edward Suess to a particular class of celestial debris of problematic origin, found in various parts of our planet. The name, from the Greek tektos (ie molten), refers to the signs of fusion that these objects present, which resemble dark glass fragments of the oxidian type.

At chemical analysis they present abundance in silicon and aluminum. They have the most diverse forms: buttons, tonsils, sponges, etc .; dimensions of the order of a few centimeters, and weight of a few tens of grams.

Just like the Meteorites, tectites have also been discovered on the surface of the Earth. However, the latter have preferential concentrations.

The first field of tectites, with an amplitude of a few thousand square kilometers, was discovered in the late 1700s in Central Europe, precisely in Moldova: why they were called Moldovans. Other fields of analogous dimensions were found later in the US, in Equatorial Africa, in the Far East and in Australia.

With the methods of radioactive determination it has been established that the oldest tectites are those of the USA (around 34 million years). As regards its genesis, it would be materials of lunar or terrestrial origin that jumped into space because of the impact produced by an asteroid, and then fell on Earth.


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