Alexandra Range 94281
QUE 94281 has an unusual
shape and appears to be a small piece of a larger meteorite because fusion
crust covers only part of the stone.
The fusion crust is visible on the top surface (T). Like QUE 93069, the fusion crust is
vesicular - it contains bubbles because the rock is a regolith
breccia. Only lunar meteorites that
are regolith breccias have thick, highly vesicular fusion crusts. The bubbles form as the meteor passes
through the Earth's atmosphere and solar-wind implanted gases are released
when the exterior melts. The small cube in the corner is 1 cm on each side.
(photo credit: NASA)
Note: Several people have
looked at these photos and then contacted me saying something like, "I
have a rock that looks just like that!" They probably do, but
it's not a lunar meteorite. Many terrestrial basalts and pieces of
slag resemble QUE 94281 at first glance, but not upon close
inspection. So, if you have a rock that looks like this, it's just a
piece of basalt (like the "lava rock"
in a gas barbeque grill) or a piece of slag
from some industrial process. See number 68 from "Photo Gallery of Meteorwrongs"
for more discussion.
Above and Below: Figure 1 of
Jolliff et al. (1998). Notice that the fusion crust (right edge) is
vesicular but the interior of the meteorite is not.
Above - A
backscattered-electron image of a polished chip of QUE94281. Places having
the highest mean atomic number (usually iron-rich minerals) appear
brightest; those having low the lowest mean atomic number (usually
plagioclase and aluminum-rich glass) appear darkest.
Below - Line drawing of major
lithologies: LC = lithic clast (small rock fragement),
gls = glass clast, Fa = fayalite, Hd = hedenbergite, Cr = crystobalite (a silica mineral), M = metal, v = void.
The rectangles mark the location of other figures from Jolliff et al.
(photo credit: Brad Jolliff)
Meteoritical Bulletin, No. 79, Meteoritics
& Planetary Science 31,
Meteorite Newsletter, vol. 18, No. 2, 1995
Queen Alexandra Range 94281
Location: Queen Alexandra Range
Dimensions (cm): 4.0 x 3.1 x 1.0
Mass: 23.4 g
Roberta Score and Marilyn Lindstrom. This is a very strange meteorite. It is
highly glassy and inhomogeneous. The exterior is black with thick, shiny
glass on one side and an irregular, rough surface on the other. The glass
is black, conchoidal, vesicular in places, and has melted into many of the
abundant cavities. The interior is very inhomogeneous. This meteorite is
wedge-shaped, ranging in thickness from 3 mm to 10 mm. At the thin end, the
rough black material has small white flecks in it, while the middle region
consists of a chaotic aphanitic material. The thick end is a coarse-grained
breccia with abundant angular white, yellow, and black mineral and lithic
clasts up to 3 mm across. Two 2 mm-thick glassy, vesicular, black veins cut
across the different areas. Oxidation is lightly scattered throughout the
meteorite. It will be difficult to do detailed sampling of this complex
Thin Section (,4)
Description: Brian Mason.The
section shows a microbreccia of pale brown pyroxene and colorless
plagioclase clasts, up to 1.2 mm across, in a comminuted groundmass of
these minerals. Colorless fusion crust rims part of the section, which is
cut by a 1 mm-wide veinlet of vesicular black glass. Pyroxene compositions
show a wide range: Wo4-30, Fs23-55, En25-66.
Plagioclase composition is An91-97. A little olivine, Fa33-36,
was analyzed, and one grain of silica polymorph, probably tridymite. Fusion crust composition is SiO2 47, Al2O3
16, FeO 13, MgO 9.1, CaO 12, K2O <0.1, TiO2 0.6,
MnO 0.2, Na2O 0.5. The black glass has a similar
but somewhat variable composition. The high FeO:MnO
ratio indicates a lunar origin, and the meteorite has a composition of a
basalt-rich breccia. Its composition appears to be intermediate between
those of EET87521 (Geochim.
Cosmochim. Acta, v. 53, p. 3323, 1989) and Calcalong Creek (Nature, v.
352, p.614, 1991) and very similar to that of Y793274 (Proc. NIPR Symp. Antarct. Meteorites, v. 4, p. 3, 1991).
is the first brecciated lunar meteorite for which there was petrographic
and compositional evidence that it was launched from the same crater as a
previously known lunar meteorite, Yamato 793274
(Arai and Warren, 1999)
ANSMET Location Map
T. and Warren P. H. (1999) Lunar
meteorite Queen Alexandra Range 94281: Glass compositions and other
evidence for launch pairing with Yamato 793274, Meteorit. Planet.
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, Houston.
G., Spettel B., Wlotzka F., Jochum K. P., Schultz
L., Weber H. W., and Wänke H. (1996) Chemistry,
petrology, and noble gases of basaltic lunar meteorite QUE 94281
& Planetary Science 31,
Fritz J. (2012) Impact ejection of lunar meteorites and
the age of Giordano Bruno. Icarus
B. L., Rockow K. M., and Korotev R. L. (1998) Geochemistry
and petrology of lunar meteorite Queen Alexandra Range 94281, a mixed mare
and highland regolith breccia, with special emphasis on very-low-Ti mafic
components. Meteorit. Planet. Sci. 33, 581-601.
R. L. (2005) Lunar
geochemistry as told by lunar meteorites. Chemie der Erde 65,
R. L. and Irving A. J. (2016) Not quite
keeping up with the lunar meteorites – 2016. 47th Lunar and Planetary
Science Conference, abstract no. 1358.
R. L. and Zeigler R. A. (2014) Chapter 6. ANSMET Meteorites from the Moon, Thirty-five
Seasons of U.S. Antarctic Meteorites (1976–2010): A Pictorial Guide to the
Collection (editors K. Righter, R.P. Harvey, C.M. Corrigan, and T.J.
McCoy), 101–130, Special Publications 68, American Geophysical Union,
Washington, D. C., 296 pages, ISBN: 978-1-118-79832-4.
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
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.
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,
D. A., Hill D. H., and Boynton W. V. (1996) A
glass-rich view of QUE94281, a new meteoritic sample from a mare region of
the Moon (abstract), Lunar Planet. Sci. XXVII, p. 707-708, Lunar and
Planetary Institute, Houston.
T. (1999) Mineralogy
and petrology of a new lunar meteorite EET96008: Lunar basaltic breccia
similar to Y-793274, QUE94281 and EET87521 (abstract), In Lunar and
Planetary Science 30, abstract #1558, Lunar and Planetary Institute,
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.
K. and Caffee M. W. (1996) Exposure
histories of lunar meteorites Queen Alexandra Range 94281 and 94269
(abstract), In Lunar and Planetary Science 27, p. 959-960, Lunar and
Planetary Institute, Houston.
E. and Eugster O. (1998) Cosmic-ray
produced, radiogenic, and solar noble gases in lunar meteorites Queen
Alexandra Range 94269 and 94281. Meteoritics & Planetary Science
K., Sasaki Y., and Sano Y. (2006) Ion
microprobe U-Pb dating of phosphates in very-low-Ti basaltic breccia
(abstract). 69th Annual Meeting of the Meteoritical Society, abstract no.
5129. Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston.
S. F., Wang M.S., and Lipschutz M. E. (2009) Labile trace
elements in basaltic achondrites: Can they distinguish between meteorites
from the Moon, Mars, and V-type asteroids? Meteoritics & Planetary Science
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