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Lunar meteorites, meteorites from the Moon.

We offer the world's largest selection of lunar meteorites, 25 different Lunar meteorites

 

Lunar Meteorites (LUN Group)

There are fewer than 50 meteorites known to be pieces of Earth's Moon (lunar meteorites). The total weight of all recovered moon meteorites is less than 10kg (compared to thousands of tons of high cutting quality diamonds are found each year). Lunar meteorites are highly unique and precious treasures from space.

LUN Group Achondrites - Lunar Meteorites

For a majority of scientists and collectors the LUN group represents the most fascinating class of meteorites since its members actually are different types of lunar rocks, i.e., genuine pieces of the Earth's Moon that have been blasted off into space by major impacts, and finally landed on Earth in form of meteorites. Since the early days of meteoritics, scientists have speculated about the possibility that some of the achondrites in our collections might actually be of lunar origin, and some researchers even believed the enigmatic tektites to be the products of major volcanic eruptions on the Moon. Finally, with the return of lunar samples by the Apollo and Luna missions in the 1960's and 1970's, a definitive test for these ideas was now available. However, subsequent comparisons yielded no match to either tektites or any achondrites, and it would take an additional decade before the first lunar meteorite would be identified.

 

In the late 1970's, Japanese and American researchers recognized the ice fields of Antarctica as a promising hunting ground for meteorites, with the subsequent recovery of thousands of new meteorites. Among these, several lunar meteorites, or "lunaites", have been identified. These are mostly small stones resembling certain samples returned by the Apollo missions. In 1990, a small stone weighing just 19 grams was found near Calcalong Creek, Australia, and recognized as the first non-Antarctic lunaite. During the past few years, professional meteorite hunters, and international research teams have recovered substantially more lunaites from the hot deserts of North Africa and Oman. Today, the LUN group comprises about 35 members, excluding all probable pairings, with a total known weight of just about 13.5 kg, and only about 9 kg of lunar material recovered from outside of Antarctica - not much compared to the tons of high quality diamonds recovered each year!

 

Besides their rarity, lunar meteorites are of major scientific interest, and importance because they originate from areas of the Moon that were not sampled by the Apollo or Luna missions. Most lunaites in our collections have been blasted from the lunar highlands that cover the far side of the Moon. Only a few lunar meteorites have their origin from the smooth lowlands, the maria of the near side, which served as the preferred landing sites for the Apollo missions. Three major types of lunaites have been sampled in form of meteorites thus far: anorthositic highland breccias (LUN A), lunar mare basalts (LUN B), and mingled breccias (LUN M) containing both, mare material, and highland rocks. All these meteorites share the features of the lunar samples returned by the Apollo and Luna missions, e.g., similar MnO/FeO ratios, and oxygen isotopic compositions that plot on the terrestrial fractionation line, proving their lunar origin beyond doubt.

 

> Meteorite Classification Index


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