Phenomena

Tektites and Spinning Fluids

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Tektites, like obsidian, are a naturally-occurring glass formed from molten rock. But tektites are often dumbbell or figure-8-shaped because they form in midair from spinning bits of fluid sent skyward after the crash of a meteor. In this video, Steve Mould takes us through the process and discusses some recent work by scientists who’ve created artificial tektites in the lab by levitating and spinning candle wax and other fluids. (Video and image credit: S. Mould; research credit: K. Baldwin et al.)

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