Origin of Tektites

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  29 Mar 1963:
Vol. 139, Issue 3561, pp. 1288-1290
DOI: 10.1126/science.139.3561.1288


A comet of the size recently postulated by H. C. Urey would leave a large crater. It is shown, from aerodynamic theory, from observations of distribution around terrestrial impact craters, and from experimental nuclear explosions, that the observed distribution of tektites cannot be the result of impact on the earth, whether cometary or meteoritic. It is further shown, from aerodynamic theory, from observation of a meteor shower, and from study of the breakup of artificial satellites, that the distribution of tektites can be accounted for as a result of fusion stripping of a satellite, as originally suggested by Suess.