National Geographic : 1964 Oct
Australian desert yields messengers from space W HERE DO TEKTITES come from? Some scientists believe these celestial mar bles are the debris that caromed into space when a comet or a large meteor struck our planet. Eventually, earth's atmosphere re captured them, and they fell as a shower of glassy pebbles. Others hold an even more exciting theory: The collision occurred not with earth, but the moon. If so, they reason, the shiny objects shown above may hold clues to the composition of the lunar surface. Last year Dr. E. P. Hender son (left) of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D. C., and Dr. Brian H. Mason of the American Museum of Natural History in New York roamed 12,000 miles in Aus tralia, collecting tektites and hunting meteorites with a metal detector. Their discoveries, which have enriched the collections of both museums, may help ge ologists solve this tantalizing mystery. Your dues make possible dozens of such research projects, as far away as New Guin ea's wilds and as near as your local observa tory. Let your friends share the privilege of sponsorship as well as the pleasure of reading NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC by nomi nating them for membership.