Spalled, Aerodynamically Modified Moldavite from Slavice, Moravia, Czechoslovakia

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Science  06 Nov 1964:
Vol. 146, Issue 3645, pp. 790-791
DOI: 10.1126/science.146.3645.790


A Czechoslovakian tektite or moldavite shows clear, indirect evidence of aerodynamic ablation. This large tektite has the shape of a teartdrop, with a strongly convex, deeply corroded, but clearly identifiable front and a planoconvex,- relatively . smooth, posterior surface. In spite of much erosion and corrosion, demarcation of the posterior and the anterior part of the specimen (the keel) is clearly preserved locally. This specimen provides the first tangible evidence that moldavites entered the atmosphere cold, probably at a velocity exceeding 5 kilometers per second; the restult was selective heating of the anterior face and perhaps ablation during the second melting. This provides evidence of the extraterrestial origin of moldavites.