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Lunar Meteorite

Northwest Africa 032 & 479
(paired stones)

Morocco

 

lm_nwa479l.jpg

Northwest Africa 479 showing green olivine phenocrysts

(photo credit: Bruno Fectay & Carine Bidaut)

 

lm_nwa0479_Dustin_Dickens_m.jpg

Northwest Africa 479 showing fusion crust

(photo credit: Dustin Dickens)

 

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A small slab from Northwest Africa 479. Millimeter ticks for scale.

(photo credit: Randy Korotev)

 

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Polished face of Northwest Africa 032 showing olivine phenocrysts
(photo credit: R. A. Langheinrich)

 

from The Meteoritical Bulletin, No. 84, Meteoritics & Planetary Science 35, A199A225 (2000)

Northwest Africa 032

Morocco, near Algerian border 
Found: 1999 October
Mass: ~300 g

Lunar meteorite (olivine-pyroxene basalt) 

Classification and mineralogy (T. Fagan, UHaw; T. Bunch and J. Wittke, NAU): olivine, pyroxene, and chromite phenocrysts occur in a groundmass of elongate, zoned pyroxene (En1-25Wo15-25) and feldspar (~An85) crystals radiating from common nucleation sites; opaque phases include elongate, skeletal ilmenite, troilite, and trace metal; olivine phenocrysts (~12 vol%) up to 300 m are zoned from Fo65 (cores) to Fo60 (rims), and commonly have chromite inclusions; pyroxene phenocrysts (~5 vol%) are complexly zoned, with En40-50Wo20-40 and En15-25Wo10-20 domains; both olivine and pyroxene phenocrysts surrounded by Fe-rich quenched margins (olivines, ~Fo30; pyroxenes, En5-25Wo15-30); glass with ~45.7 wt% SiO2 occurs in semi-continuous shock veins up to 50 m wide; some terrestrial weathering products are present in fractures, but primary assemblage is essentially unaltered.

Oxygen isotope compositions (R. Clayton, UChi): δ18O = +5.63 , δ17O = +2.92.

Bulk composition (in wt%, E. Jarosewich, SI): SiO2 = 44.7; TiO2 = 3.08; Al2O3 = 8.74; FeO = 23.0; MnO = 0.33; MgO = 8.45; CaO = 10.9; Na2O = 0.37; K2O = 0.11; H2O = 0.06.

Specimens: type specimen, ~5-6 g, contact T. Bunch, NAU; 1.1 g plus thin section, UHaw; main mass, 260 g, Radomsky.

 

from The Meteoritical Bulletin, No. 85, Meteoritics & Planetary Science 36, A293A322 (2001)

Northwest Africa 479

 

Possibly Khter n'At Khebbach, Morocco 
Found: 2000 November 
Mass: 156 g

Lunar meteorite (mare basalt) 

A 156 g stone was collected in Morocco in the area of Khter n'At Khebbach, however, the exact location is unknown.

Classification and mineralogy (J.-A. Barrat, UAng, A. Jambon, UPVI, Violaine Sautter, MNHNP, Ph. Gillet, ENSL): consists of phenocrysts of olivine, pyroxene and chromite in a groundmass of pyroxene and calcic plagioclase; texture closely resembles that of NWA 032; mineral compositions are identical to those reported for NWA 032 (see Met. Bull. 84).

Specimens: main mass with anonymous finder; type specimen, 8 g and 1 thin section, ENSL; 3.6 g, NHMV.

 

Randy Says

Its the first unbrecciated mare basalt from Africa. Its distinct from Apollo and Luna basalts. It's one of the youngest basalts known from the Moon.

Several people have contacted me saying that they had a rock that looked just like NWA 032/479. Basaltic volcanism occurs on Earth and several other planetary bodies (Mars, Venus, Io, the Moon). Basalts with olivine phenocrysts and textures like NWA 032 are common on Earth. So, if you have a rock that looks like NWA 032, it's probably not a meteorite.

 

More Information

Meteoritical Bulletin Database

NWA 032 | 479

References

Barrat J. A., Gillet Ph., Jambon A., Sautter V., Javoy M., Petit E., and Lesourd M. (2001) News from the Moon and Mars: preliminary examinations of two new Saharan finds (abstract).Lunar and Planetary Science 32, CDROM #1713, Lunar and Planetary Institute.

Barrat J. A., Chaussidon M., Bohn M., Gillet Ph., Gpel C., Lesourd M. (2005) Lithium behavior during cooling of a dry basalt: An ion-microprobe study of the lunar meteorite Northwest Africa 479 (NWA 479). Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 69, 5597-5609.

Basilevsky A. T., Neukum G., and Nyquist L. (2010) Lunar meteorites: What they tell us about the spatial and temporal distribution of mare basalts (abstract). In Lunar and Planetary Science XLI, abstract no. 1214, 41st Lunar and Planetary Science Conference.

Borg L., Gaffney A., and DePaolo D. (2007) Rb-Sr & Sm-Nd isotopic systematics of NWA032 (abstract). 70th Annual Meeting of the Meteoritical Society, abstract no. 5232. Lunar and Planetary Institute.

Borg L. E., Gaffney A. M., Shearer C. K., DePaolo D. J., Hutcheon I. D., Owens T. L., Ramon E., and Brennecka G. (2009) Mechanisms for incompatible-element enrichment on the Moon deduced from the lunar basaltic meteorite Northwest Africa 032. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 73, 39633980.

Burger P. V., Shearer C. K., and Papike J. J. (2009) The multi-stage cooling history of lunar meteorite NWA 032 as recorded by phenocrystic olivine and pyroxene (abstract). In Lunar and Planetary Science XL, abstract no. 2043, 40th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference.

Day J. M. D. and Taylor L. A. (2007) On the structure of mare basalt lava flows from textural analysis of the LaPaz Icefield and Northwest Africa 032 lunar meteorites. Meteoritics & Planetary Science 42, 317.

Elardo S. M. and Shearer C. K. (2013) The origin of oscillatory zoning of major and minor elements in pyroxene phenocrysts in lunar basaltic meteorite NWA 032/479 (abstract). In 44th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, abstract no. 1701.

Elardo S. M. and Shearer C. K. (2014) Magma chamber dynamics recorded by oscillatory zoning in pyroxene and olivine phenocrysts in lunar basaltic meteorite NWA 032. American Mineralogist 99, 355-368.

Elardo S. M., Shearer C. K. Jr., Fagan A. L., Neal C. R., Burger P. V., and Borg L. E. (2012) Diversity in low-Ti mare magmatism and mantle sources: A Perspective from lunar meteorites NWA 4734, NWA 032, and LAP 02205 (abstract). In Lunar and Planetary Science XLIII, abstract no. 2648, 43rd Lunar and Planetary Science Conference.

Elardo S. M., Shearer C. K., Fagan A. L., Borg L. E., Gaffney A. M., Burger P. V., Neal C. R., and McCubbin F. M. (2013) The origin of young mare basalts inferred from lunar meteorites NWA 4734, NWA 032, and LAP 02205 (abstract). In 44th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, abstract no. 2762.

Elardo S. M., Shearer C. K. Jr., Fagan A. L., Borg L. E., Gaffney A. M., Burger P. V., Neal C. R., Fernandes V. A., and McCubbin F. M. (2013) The origin of young mare basalts inferred from lunar meteorites Northwest Africa 4734, 032, and LaPaz Icefield 02205. Meteoritics & Planetary Science 49, 261291. doi: 10.1111/maps.12239

Fagan T. J., Bunch T. E., Wittke J. H., Jarosewich E., Clayton R. N., Mayeda T., Eugster O., Lorenzetti S., Keil K., and Taylor G. J. (2000) Northwest Africa 032: A new lunar mare basalt (abstract). Meteorit. Planet. Sci. 35, p. A51, 63rd Annual Meteoritical Society Meeting, CD-ROM no. 5159.

Fagan T. J., Taylor G. J., Keil K., Bunch T. E., Wittke J. H., Korotev R. L., Jolliff B. L., Gillis J. J., Haskin L. A., Jarosewich E., Clayton R. N., Mayeda T. K., Fernandes V. A., Burgess R., Turner G., Eugster O., and Lorenzetti S. (2002) Northwest Africa 032: Product of lunar volcanism. Meteoritics & Planetary Science 37, 371394.

Fernandes V. A. (2006) Lunar volcanism during the Erastothenian II: NWA 479 (abstract). 69th Annual Meeting of the Meteoritical Society, abstract no. 5312. Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston.

Fernandes V. A. and Burgess R. (2006) Ar-Ar studies of two lunar mare rocks: LAP02205 and EET96008 (abstract). In Lunar and Planetary Science XXXVII, abstract no. 1145, Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston.

Fernandes V. A., Burgess R., and Turner G. (2001) North West Africa 032 (NWA032): Evidence for lunar volcanism at 2.80 Ga (abstract), 64th Annual Meteoritical Society Meeting, CD-ROM no. 5304.

Fernandes V. A., Burgess R. and Turner G. (2003) 40Ar-39Ar chronology of lunar meteorites Northwest Africa 032 and 773. Meteoritics & Planetary Science 38, 555564.

Fernandes V. A. S. M., Fritz J. P., Wnnemann K., and Hornemann U. (2010) K-Ar ages and shock effects in lunar meteorites (abstract). EPSC Abstracts, Vol. 5, EPSC2010-237.

Fernandes V. A., Burgess R., and Morris A. (2009) 40Ar-39Ar age determinations of lunar basalt meteorites Asuka 881757, Yamato 793169, Miller Range 05035, LaPaz Icefield 02205, Northwest Africa 479, and basaltic breccia Elephant Moraine 96008. Meteoritics & Planetary Science 44, 805821.

Fritz J. (2012) Impact ejection of lunar meteorites and the age of Giordano Bruno. Icarus 221, 1183-1186.

Gaffney A. and Borg L. (2008) What we are learning about the Moon from lunar meteorites. Goldschmidt Conference Abstracts 2008, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 72, 12S, p. A287.

Hidaka H. and Yoneda S. (2006) Neodymium, samarium and gadolinium isotopic studies of lunar meteorites Dhofar 489 and NWA 032 (abstract). 69th Annual Meeting of the Meteoritical Society, abstract no. 5169. Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston.

Hidaka H. and Yoneda S. (2013) Isotopic studies of radiogenic and neutron-captured REE of lunar meteorites (abstract). 76th Annual Meeting of the Meteoritical Society, abstract no. 5042.

Koizumi, E.; Mikouchi, T.; Chokai, J.; Miyamoto, M. (2006) Crystallization of lunar basaltic meteorites Northwest Africa 032 and 479: Preservation of the parent melt composition and relationship to LAP 02205. abstract no. 1586, Lunar & Planetary Science XXXVII, 37th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference.

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

Korotev R. L., Jolliff B. L., Zeigler R. A., and Haskin L. A. (2003) Compositional constraints on the launch pairing of three brecciated lunar meteorites of basaltic composition. Antarctic Meteorite Research 16, 152-175.

Lorenzetti S., Busemann H., and Eugster O. (2005) Regolith history of lunar meteorites. Meteoritics & Planetary Science 40, 315-327.

Morris A., Fernandes V., and Burgess R. (2008) Ar-Ar ages for lunar basalt meteorites: A 881757, Y 793169, MIL 05035, LAP 02205, NWA479 and EET 96008. Goldschmidt Conference Abstracts 2008, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 72, 12S, p. A652.

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.

Rochette P., Gattacceca J., Ivanov A. V., Nazarov M. A., and Bezaeva N. S. (2010) Magnetic properties of lunar materials: Meteorites, Luna and Apollo returned samples. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2010.02.007.

Zeigler R. A., Korotev R. L., Jolliff B. L., and Haskin L. A. (2005) Petrology and geochemistry of the LaPaz icefield basaltic lunar meteorite and source-crater pairing with Northwest Africa 032. Meteorit. Planet. Sci. 40, 1073-1102.

 

 

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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.


e-mail
korotev@wustl.edu

Last revised: 28-June-2017