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
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 fragment), 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. (1998).
(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 breccia.
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
Arai T. and Warren P. H.
(1999) Lunar meteorite
Queen Alexandra Range 94281: Glass compositions and other evidence for
launch pairing with Yamato 793274. Meteoritics &
Planetary Science 34, 209-234.
Basilevsky A. T., Neukum G., and Nyquist L. (2010) Lunar meteorites: What they tell us about the
spatial and temporal distribution of mare basalts. 41st Lunar and Planetary
Science Conference, abstract no. 1214.
Dreibus 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. Meteoritics
& Planetary Science 31, A38-A39.
Fritz J. (2012) Impact
ejection of lunar meteorites and the age of Giordano Bruno. Icarus 221, 1183-1186.
Jolliff 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. Meteoritics & Planetary
Science 33, 581-601.
Korotev R. L. (2005) Lunar geochemistry as told by lunar meteorites. Chemie
der Erde 65, 297-346.
Korotev 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.
Korotev 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.
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.
Korotev R. L., Irving A. J.,
and Bunch T. E. (2008) Keeping up with
the lunar meteorites - 2008. Lunar and Planetary Science XXXIX, abstract no. 1209.
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.
Kring 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. Lunar and Planetary Science XXVII, 707-708.
Mikouchi T. (1999) Mineralogy
and petrology of a new lunar meteorite EET96008: Lunar basaltic breccia
similar to Y-793274, QUE94281 and EET87521. Lunar and Planetary
Science XXX, abstract no. 1558.
K. (2003) Exposure histories of
lunar meteorites. Evolution of Solar System Materials: A New
Perspective from Antarctic Meteorites, 104.
Nishiizumi K. and Caffee M.
W. (1996) Exposure histories of lunar meteorites Queen Alexandra
Range 94281 and 94269. Lunar and Planetary Science XXVII, 959-960.
Polnau 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 33, 313-319.
Terada K., Sasaki Y., and
Sano Y. (2006) Ion microprobe U-Pb dating of phosphates in very-low-Ti
basaltic breccia. 69th Annual Meeting of the Meteoritical Society,
abstract no. 5129.
Wolf 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 44, 891–903.
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