Lunar Meteorite NWA 7986

January 13, 2021

Luna f

Photographer: Michela Meda
Summary Author: Michela Meda

Lunar meteorites, also called lunaites, are achondritic meteorites that originated from the Moon and fell on Earth as a result of a strong meteoritic impact on the lunar surface that was able to project rocky fragments into space. It’s a rather rare type of meteorite: the Meteoritical Bulletin Database lists 428 examples of this type as of November 2020. The largest lunar meteorite classified is Northwest Africa 12691 (NWA 12691), a single rock weighing 229 lbs (103.8 kg) found in January 2017 on the Western Sahara/Algeria border region. The fragment in the photograph is a small part of the original meteorite (43 oz/12.2 g). It’s a breccia of primarily feldspathic lithologies (feldspathic breccia). Petrography shows an abundant, partly devitrified, glassy matrix containing embedded small mineral and lithic clasts. Minerals included are olivine, orthopyroxene, pigeonite, augite, anorthite, ilmenite, troilite and minor kamacite. It was purchased from a Moroccan dealer at the Ensisheim Meteorite Show. Worldwide there are about 1,355 lbs (615 kg) of lunar meteorites and only a few of them are available on the market for collectors. Photo taken November 21, 2020.