Lunar Meteorite: Yamato 791197

Antarctica, Yamato Mountains


Four views of Yamato 791197. Note the vesicular fusion crust, as on other lunar meteorites that are regolith breccias.
(
photos courtesy of the NIPR)

Yamato 79197 is a regolith breccia composed mainly of material from the  feldspathic highlands. Notice that the matrix is as dark as meteorites containing much more volcanic material, such as Yamato 981031

The scale to the left has millimeter tick marks.

(photo by Randy Korotev)


It is the first known lunar meteorite to have been found (20 November 1979), although it was not recognized to be of lunar origin until after the discovery of ALHA 81005 (18 January 1982).

It is the first of several lunar meteorites to have been recovered from Antarctica by expeditions by the National Institute of Polar Research of Japan.

It is compositionally and texturally identical to MIL 07006, collected 2500 km away on the other side of Antarctica. The two stones may represent two different rocks blasted from the same crater on the Moon
.
  


from NIPR Meteorite Newsletter No. 7

Yamato 791197

Mass: 52.4

feldspathic regolith breccia

Y-791197 is a polymict microbreccia containing clasts in a dark brown glassy matrix, similar to lunar anorthositic regolith breccias. Two or more types of clasts are observed in the thin section, such as polymineralic, monomineralic and melt clasts. Most of larger clasts are polymineralic, frequently composed of calcic plagioclase, olivine, and pyroxene; less commonly plagioclases, or plagioclases alone. Smaller clasts are mineral fragments dominantly plagioclases, with some pyroxenes and olivines, and melted lithic fragments. The clasts also show a variety of textures, including troctolitic, gabbroic, diabasic, basaltic and shock-melted glassy clasts. Most of them are more feldspathic than the HED achondrites. Y-791197 appears to be a regolith breccia with glass spherules and abundant clasts, especially feldspathic clasts, set in a dark brown glassy matrix. The PTS shows that recrystallized matrix breccias containing plagioclase fragments are the other abundant clasts. The matrix glass compositions scatter around those of the bulk rock and are similar to those of the Apollo 16 regolith breccias.

The poikilitic matrix texture is not as well developed as that observed in the Apollo 16 regolith breccias, and it is very fine-grained and can be designated them as micropoikilitic breccias. One clast (HPF) consists of dark yellowish brown to reddish brown iron-rich pyroxene, small amounts of plagioclase, fayalite, and dark mesostasis-like materials including fayalite, minor silica mineral and ilmenite. A poikilitic clast (PK1) clast has a texture with a few subround plagioclase crystals up to 0.2 mm in diameter set in a fine grayish poikilitic-like matrix. Fine-grained (up to 30 microns) olivine and pyroxene are rarely found in the matrix. The plagioclase compositions are calcic and the An contents range from 95 to 97. The Fa contents of olivine range from 36 to 49. Other small lithic clasts are: noritic and troctolitic anorthosites and shocked anorthosites. One clast (SA) consists of rounded euhedral pleonaste spinel enclosed in anorthite. This clast could be a fragment of spinel cataclasite.



More Information

Antarctic Meteorite Research Center | National Institute of Polar Research

Meteoritical Bulletin Database

Yamato 791197

Map

NIPR 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: 05-Mar-2014