With the tektite bibliography looking pretty complete I thought it would be interesting to see how the number of tektite publications has varied over time. Here's what I came up with:

There is a flare of interest between 1933 and 1941. This was a time when Philippinites (1928) and Indochinites (1929 & 1932) had been recently discovered. Ivory Coast tektites were announced by Lacroix in 1934. There was also an interest in Libyan Desert Glass. It was a time when there was certainly some degree of communication and sharing of samples between some of the key researchers - Beyer, Baker, Spencer and possibly Lacroix. The second world war appears to have put an end to this decade of research.

A second flare of interest was between 1957 and 1972. This marked the great space age. Interest in space was at an all time high. With a mission to the Moon being on the cards, tektites were of great interest with the interpretation by some researchers that they were of lunar origin. A lot of the aerodynamic studies for re-entry of spacecraft and inter-continental ballistic weapons had an offshoot in that the same studies could be applied to tektite research. This era of space exploration was fuelled by the cold war between Russia and the USA. A lot of extremely valuable data, still relevant today, came from this era. The last man on the moon was in 1972 and, after this event, tektite research declined. The returned lunar samples clearly indicated that tektites could not have been derived from the moon, but the debate continued, largely fuelled by the prominent tektite researcher John O'Keefe.

Although the tektite debate and research continued through the 70's and 80's another spike of interest occurred from 1991. Hildebrand et al. announced the discovery of the Chicxulub impact crater to the scientific community. What followed was a flurry of papers and a revived interest in tektites (now solidly accepted as products of terrestrial impact).

Are we on a decline again? I hope not as we still haven't found the Australasian source crater. This event has huge significance for human kind, both past and future! (There will be more publications for 2010, not yet on the list).