The force of the impact melts the rocks on the Earth’s surface and this glass is splashed back up into the atmosphere, only to fall back down to Earth again. These molten blobs of glass cool and solidify during their flight through the atmosphere and take on characteristic aerodynamic shapes. They range in size from millimetres to centimetres depending on how far they have travelled from the original impact site.
There are 1500 registered individual specimens and specimen lots in the tektite collection. The majority of these are Australian (australites) and have been acquired chiefly through several large donations, representing material from Central Australia, the Nullarbor Plains, and the Kalgoorlie region.
We also have comparative material from international tektite-strewn fields as well as impact materials from local and international meteorite impact craters, including the famous 580 million year old Acraman impact horizon from the Flinders Ranges.