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Bead Materials from Outer Space

No Martians don't make beads. But sometimes bead materials come from outer space or are related to outer space.

Take meteorites. A meteor is a piece of rock, sometimes with a lot of metal, floating out in space. When it gets close to the Earth, gravity pulls it in. As it enters the Earth's atmosphere it begins to burn up. When we see it in the night sky we call it a "shooting star." You can see these on any clear night (lie in the grass somewhere dark and look up), but they are most common during certain times of the years, such as mid August.

When one of these rocks is too big to completely burn up in the air it falls to Earth. Then the meteor is called a meteorite (the -ite ending means it's a stone). No person has ever been reported killed by a meteorite, but if it hit you it probably would kill you.

When the meteorite is made mostly of iron, people take pieces from it and use them for knives and to make beads.

Another unusual bead material is a tektite. Tektites are made of glass. They are usually green or black and are found in certain areas in different parts of the world. For a long time, no one knew what they were. But now we understand they are rocks or sand that melted when meteorites hit the earth. Quartz is the most important part of glass, and when it melts like this it makes a natural glass.

In several places where tektites are found, they are made into beads. One of the most famous of these is Moldavia, in the Czech Republic. Moldavite, as these tektites are called is made into beads and other sorts of jewelry. In other parts of the world where tektites are found, the same thing is done to them, for example in Thailand in Southeast Asia.


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