Impactite is rock created or modified by the impact of a meteorite. Impactite includes shock-metamorphosed target rocks, melts (suevites) and mixtures of the two, as well as sedimentary rocks with significant impact-derived components (shocked mineral grains, tektites, anomalous geochemical signatures, etc.). In June 2015, NASA reported that impact glass has been detected on the planet Mars - such material may contain preserved signs of ancient life—if life existed.
When a meteor strikes a planet's surface, the energy release from the impact can melt rock and soil into a liquid. If the liquid cools and hardens quickly into a solid, impact glass forms before the atoms have time to arrange into a crystal lattice. Impact glass is dark brown, almost black, and partly transparent.
- Alamo bolide impact (Late Devonian) of Nevada
- Alga crater on the planet Mars
- Charlevoix crater of Québec
- Darwin glass from Tasmania
- Kärnäite from Lake Lappajärvi, Finland
- Manicouagan crater of Québec
- Neugrund crater of Québec
- Nördlinger Ries crater
- Rochechouart crater
- Wabar impact site
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Impactite.|
- Staff (8 June 2015). "PIA19673: Spectral Signals Indicating Impact Glass on Mars". NASA. Retrieved 8 June 2015.
- Temming, Maria. "Exotic Glass Could Help Unravel Mysteries of Mars". Retrieved 2015-06-15.
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