Lunar Meteorite: Calcalong Creek


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Calcalong Creek was the first lunar meteorite to be found outside of Antarctica and is still the only one to have come from Australia. This photo shows a cross section through the whole stone.

(photo courtesy of David Kring) 

A closeup of a sawn slice, probably about 1 cm in longest dimension. Note the vesicular fusion crust along the upper left edge. The meteorite is a regolith breccia. Note that the clasts (1) come in all sizes and a variety of gray shades, (2) they are not rounded like beach pebbles, and (3) there is no layering.

(photo courtesy of Jim Strope)

Photomicrograph of a thin section (field of view: 1.1 cm across). Most of the clasts are grains of plagioclase and pyroxene. Click on image for enlargement.

(photo courtesy of Dolores Hill; figure 1a from Hill & Boynton, 2003) 

Views of two sides of a small sample of Calcalong Creek. The vesicular fusion crust is visible in the photo on the right. The tick marks are spaced at 1-mm intervals. Click on image for enlargement.
(photos by Randy Korotev)

It was the first lunar meteorite to have been found outside of Antarctica.

It is the only lunar meteorite to have been found in Australia

It is the first rock from the Moon to have been sold and bought on the open market.

Because of the high prices that samples of the meteorite achieved, up to $40,000 per gram, meteorite hunters were influenced to seek rare types of meteorites in other hot deserts which in turn has led to a vast increase in the numbers of planetary meteorites since 1997.


from The Meteoritical Bulletin, no. 71, Meteoritics 26, 255-262 (1991)

Calcalong Creek

Wiluna District, Western Australia, Australia
Found: after 1960
Mass: 19 g

Lunar meteorite

A stone of 19 g was found by an Aborigine meteorite hunter in the Millbillillie strewnfield. It has a complete fusion crust, the interior shows a microbreccia with white angular clasts in a dark matrix (impact melt breccia, calculated from the bulk analysis: 50% anorthosite, 20% KREEP, 15% Luna- 16 type low-Ti mare basalt and 15% Sc-Cr-V components). Information and analysis, Fe/Mn = 73-78, KREEP pattern of REE, Dolores H. Hill, Lunar Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona, Tucson AZ 85726, USA. See also, D. H. Hill, W. V. Boynton and R. A. Haag, Nature, 1991, in press. The main mass is with Robert Haag, P. O. Box 27527, Tucson, AZ 85726, USA.

More Information

Meteoritical Bulletin Database

Calcalong Creek


Calzada-Diaz A., Joy K. H., Crawford I. A., and Nordheim T. A. (2015) Constraining the source regions of lunar meteorites using orbital geochemical data. Meteoritics & Planetary Science 50, 214-228.

Cohen B. A., Swindle T. D., Kring D. A., and Olson E. K. (2005) Geochemistry and 40Ar-39Ar geochronology of impact-melt clasts in lunar meteorites Dar al Gani 262 and Calcalong Creek (abstract). In Lunar and Planetary Science XXXVI, abstract no. 1481, 36th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, Houston.

Hill D. H. and Boynton W. V. (2003) Chemistry of the Calcalong Creek lunar meteorite and its relationship to lunar terranes. Meteoritics & Planetary Science 38, 595–626.

Hill D. H., Boynton W. V., and Haag R. A. (1991) A lunar meteorite found outside the Antarctic. Nature 352, 614-617.

Hill D. H., Marvin U. B., and Boynton W. V. (1995) Clasts from the Calcalong Creek lunar meteorite (abstract). Lunar and Planetary Science 26, p. 605-606, Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston.

Korotev R. L. (2005) Lunar geochemistry as told by lunar meteorites. Chemie der Erde 65, 297–346.

Korotev R. L., Irving A. J., and Bunch T. E. (2008) Keeping up with the lunar meteorites – 2008 (abstract). In Lunar and Planetary Science XXXIX, abstract no. 1209, 39th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, Houston.

Korotev R. L, Zeigler R. A., Jolliff B. L., Irving A. J., and Bunch T. E. (2009) Compositional and lithological diversity among brecciated lunar meteorites of intermediate iron composition. Meteoritics & Planetary Science 44, 1287-1322.

Kuehner S. M., Irving A. J., Korotev R. L., Hupé G. M., and Ralew S. (2007) Zircon-baddeleyite-bearing silica+K-feldspar granophyric clasts in KREEPrich lunar breccias Northwest Africa 4472 and 4485 (abstract). In Lunar and Planetary Science XXXVIII, abstract no. 1516, 38th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, Houston.

Marvin U. B. and Holmberg B. B. (1992) Highland and mare components in the Calcalong Creek lunar meteorite (abstract), Lunar and Planetary Science 23, p. 849-850, Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston.

Nishiizumi K. (2003) Exposure histories of lunar meteorites (abstract). In Evolution of Solar System Materials: A New Perspective from Antarctic Meteorites, p. 104, National Institute of Polar Research, Tokyo.

Nishiizumi K., Arnold J. R., Caffee M. W., Finkel R. C., Southon J., and Reedy R. C. (1991) Cosmic ray exposure histories of lunar meteorites Asuka 881757, Yamato 793169, and Calcalong Creek (abstract) Papers Presented to the 17th Symposium on Antarctic Meteorites, August 19-21, Tokyo, Natl. Inst. Polar Res., 129-132.

Swindle T. D., Burkland M. K., and Grier J. A. (1995) Noble gases in the lunar meteorites Calcalong Creek and Queen Alexandra Range 93069 (abstract), Meteoritics 30, 584-585.

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Prepared by:

Randy L. Korotev

Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences
Washington University in St. Louis

Please don't contact me about the meteorite you think you’ve found until you read this and this.

Last revised: 02-Apr-2015