Lunar Meteorite: Queen Alexandra Range (QUE) 93069 & 94269 (paired stones)

Antarctica


  

 

QUE 93069 (left) and QUE 94269 (right) are two different pieces of a single meteorite. They were found 1 year apart. Like QUE 94281, the fusion crust on QUE93069/94269 is strikingly vesicular (it has bubbles) because both meteorites are regolith breccias.  The cube is 1 cm square.
(from NASA photos S94-033320 and S96-00385)
  
 
QUE 93069 in the field 
(photo by Ralph Harvey)
  
  lm_q93069b.jpg (59502 bytes)

On the left we see the same side of QUE 93069 in the lab as in the field; on the left is QUE 94269.  On these broken surfaces many light-colored clasts are visible.  In this regard, the meteorite resembles many kinds of terrestrial sedimentary rocks.  Notice, however, that there is no preferred orientation of the clasts and no hint of layering or linear features, as in many terrestrial sedimentary rocks.  There is no mechanism for making layered rocks on the Moon (no water, no wind).  Note also that the clasts vary in size.  In many terrestrial sedimentary rocks, the clasts are all about the same size because they have been size-sorted when they were deposited in a sea or ocean (coarser grained suspended material carried to the sea by rivers gets deposited closer to shore than fine-grained material).  Finally, notice that many of the clasts are angular, although a few are rounded.  Meteorioid impacts tend to make angular rock fragments. Rounded fragments are typical of terrestrial clastic materials that are abraded by grinding against each other in an aqueous environment like a seashore or river.
(from NASA photos S94-033316 and S95-14250)
  

  Fragments of QUE 94269 in the lab. Millimeter ticks for scale.
(Photo by Randy Korotev)
  


The regolith (soil) from which it derives had more exposure at the surface of the Moon than that of most regolith breccias. That's why it has such a vesicuar fusion crust and high concentrations of iridium from asteroidal meteorites.
  

 

Listed in The Meteoritical Bulletin, No. 79, Meteoritics & Planetary Science 31, A161–A174 (1996)

from Antarctic Meteorite Newsletter, vol. 17, No. 2, 1994 (PDF p. 3)

QUE 93069

Location: Queen Alexandra Range
Dimensions (cm): 5.0 x 2.2 x 2.3
Weight (g): 21.4
Weathering: A/B
Fracturing: B

Meteorite Type: Lunar-anorth. breccia

Macroscopic Description: Cecilia Satterwhite and Marilyn Lindstrom. The overall shape of this lunar meteorite is approximately one third of a flat ovoid. Thick gray-green frothy fusion crust covers the top while thin granular medium olive green-brown fusion crust covers the bottom. The north face is a fractured surface with exposed interior matrix and abundant fractures. This surface consists of black matrix with abundant millimeter sized white/ gray clasts. Some clasts have weathered to a yellowish color. One gray clast is visible in a fracture. Cleaving this meteorite revealed a lighter gray matrix with small clasts of various sizes. One white, friable clast (3 x 2 mm) is directly below the fusion crust. An area 2 x 2 mm near this clast has a uniform, dusty-gray appearance with an indistinguish-able border. All of the clasts present are small and friable and unfortunately may not be extractable.

Thin Section (,5) Description: Brian Mason. The section shows a microbreccia of small plagioclase grains and granular clasts, up to 0.6 mm across, in a translucent to semi-opaque brown glassy matrix; colorless vesicular fusion crust is present on one edge. There is one large clast, 2.4 x 3.6 mm, of pale brown partly devitrified glass. Traces of metallic iron, as irregular grains up to 40 microns, are present. Microprobe analyses show that the plagioclase is almost pure anorthite (Na2O 0.3-0.4%, K2O less than 0.1%). The composition of the fusion crust, probably a reasonable approximation for the bulk meteorite, is (weight percent): SiO2 44, Al2O3 27, FeO 4.4, MgO 4.5, CaO 16, Na2O 0.32, K2O less than 0.1 %, TiO2 0.24, MnO 0.10. The FeO : MnO ratio is high, 44-75, characteristic of lunar material. The meteorite is an anorthositic microbreccia, presumably of lunar origin. In thin section, it is very similar to MAC 88105 (Antarctic Meteorite Newsletter 12(2), 1989).
  


Listed in The Meteoritical Bulletin, No. 79, Meteoritics & Planetary Science 31, A161–A174 (1996)

from Antarctic Meteorite Newsletter, vol. 18, No. 2, 1995

QUE 94269

Location: Queen Alexandra Range
Dimensions (cm): 1.9 x 1.4 x 1.3
Weight (g): 3.2

Meteorite Type: Lunar-Anorthositic Breccia

Macroscopic Description: Roberta Score. This lunar meteorite is identical to QUE93069 and would probably fit together if QUE93069 was still in one piece. One side of this flat stone has thick gray-green, frothy fusion crust. The other side has thin, weathered, dull green-brown fusion crust. A fractured surface reveals the interior matrix which is dark gray to black with abundant inclusions. The largest inclusion is white and measures 1.0 x 0.2 cm. The newly exposed interior surface has a lighter gray-colored matrix and abundant white and gray clasts. One white clast measures 0.4 x 0.2 cm. Other inclusions present include fine-grained, buff-colored clasts, several brecciated gray clasts, and smaller white clasts. Many clasts have weathered to a yellowish color. As in QUE93069, most of the clasts are small and friable and, unfortunately, are not extractable.

Thin Section (,5 and ,7) Description: Brian Mason. The sections show a microbreccia of granular clasts, up to 1.5 mm across, and small plagioclase grains, in a translucent to semi-opaque brown glassy matrix; one grain of metallic iron, 0.3 mm across, was noted. Most of the plagioclase is almost pure anorthite (Na2O 0.3-0.5%, K2O less than 0.1%), with a few grains with higher Na2O, up to 3.2%. QUE94269,7 has a 3 mm clast of subequal amounts of plagioclase and pyroxene; the plagioclase is anorthite (Na2O 0.3-0.5%), the pyroxene ranges from Wo5Fs39 to Wo34Fs22 with fairly uniform En content. This specimen is a lunar meteorite, very similar to QUE93069 (Antarctic Meteorite Newsletter 17(2), 1994), with which it is certainly paired.
  


More Information

Meteoritical Bulletin Database

Queen Alexandra Range 93069 | 94269

Map

ANSMET location Map

References

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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-mailkorotev@wustl.edu

Last revised: 14-May-2014