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Spalled, aerodynamically modified moldavite from Slavice, Moravia, Czechoslovakia

January 1, 1964

A Czechoslovakian tektite or moldavite shows clear, indirect evidence of aerodynamic ablation. This large tektite has the shape of a teardrop, 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 result was selective heating of the anterior face and perhaps ablation during the second melting. This provides evidence of the extraterrestial origin of moldavites.

Publication Year 1964
Title Spalled, aerodynamically modified moldavite from Slavice, Moravia, Czechoslovakia
Authors E. C. T. Chao
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Science
Index ID 70010470
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse