Lunar Meteorite: Bechar 003, 006, 007, 009, 010, and 011

Assumed paired stones

Small stones of Bechar 003 offered for sale on the internet. Photo credit: nwadirectmeteorites
Two ~9-g slices, apparently of the same stone, of Bechar 003. Photo credit: Topherspin
Sawn faces of two Bechar 006 stones, 8.8 cm (L) and 5.4 cm (R) width. Photo credit: Heritage Auctions.
Two sides of a 7.55-g slice of Bechar 006 (polished on right?). Photo credit: wwwmeteoloverscom

Meteorite Picture of the Day: Bechar 003

See the discussion here about the high degree of weathering in the Bechar stones: Lunar Meteorites Beauty Revealed by James Tobin.

from The Meteoritical Bulletin, No. 111

Bechar 003

Bechar, Algeria
Find: 2022 March 24
Mass: 1084 g (many pieces)

Lunar meteorite (feldspathic breccia)

History: Many small, similar-appearing stones were found together in Algeria on March 24, 2022, by a team represented by David Lehman.

Physical Characteristics: The stones (total 1084 g) lack fusion crust and have light brown weathered exteriors. Fresh interiors are medium gray with diffuse small white clasts and rare tiny metal grains visible.

Petrography: (A. Irving, UWS and P. Carpenter, WUSL) Electron microprobe analyses were conducted on small slices from four separate stones. Although there is some mineralogical and compositional heterogeneity among these pieces, all consist of mineral clasts of calcic plagioclase (predominantly anorthite but also some sodic bytownite), olivine, low-Ca pyroxene and augite within a very fine grained, sparsely microvesicular matrix containing Ti-chromite, troilite, kamacite and minor secondary barite.

Geochemistry: Calcic plagioclase (An70.7-97.7Or1.1-0.0, N = 12), olivine (Fa22.9-49.5, FeO/MnO = 86-114, N = 14), low-Ca pyroxene (23.1-26.5Wo4.3-4.4, Fe)/MnO = 56-57, N = 2), pigeonite (Fs22.0-32.3Wo6.9-12.5, FeO/MnO = 52-61, N =7), augite (Fs11.9-19.4Wo35.8-38.6, FeO/MnO = 42-52, N = 5).

Classification: Lunar (feldspathic breccia).

Specimens: 20.14 g including a composite four-slice polished thick section at UWB; remainder with Mr. D. Lehman.

from The Meteoritical Bulletin, No. 111

Bechar 006

Bechar, Algeria
Purchased: 2022
Mass: 7208 g (hundreds of pieces)

Lunar meteorite (feldspathic breccia)

History: Hundreds of stones were reportedly found in March 2022 and subsequent months by meteorite hunters within the Bechar region, Algeria. About 7 kg of this material were bought by Mohamed Ali Loud, Miguel Angel Contreras Gomez, and Viktor Plamenov Ivanov.

Physical Characteristics: The material occurs in two different varieties. Samples found on the surface have light brown exteriors. The ones found buried have whitish exteriors with orange caliche. All stones lack fusion crust. Interiors are predominately gray with dark gray and white clasts. Some metal grains are macroscopically visible.

Petrography: (K. Metzler, IfP) Fine-grained polymict breccia, consisting of mineral fragments (mainly plagioclase, pyroxene, Ca-rich pyroxene, and olivine) and a few anorthositic lithic clasts, set in a compacted fine-grained matrix. The matrix partly represents a crystallized melt. Subrounded units of clast-rich impact melt rocks are admixed. Accessories are ilmenite, troilite, and Ni-bearing metal; one zircon grain (~25 µm) was observed.

Geochemistry: Mineral compositions and geochemistry: Olivine Fa28.3±6.4 (Fa17.5-40.1); mean Fe/Mn (at.): 112; n=8. Low-Ca pyroxene Fs26.4±4.0Wo4.1±2.1 (Fs20.0-31.6Wo1.8-8.3); mean Fe/Mn (at.): 67; n=11. Ca-rich pyroxene Fs17.9±0.8Wo39.4±1.4 (Fs17.3-18.4Wo38.4-40.3) mean Fe/Mn (at.): 48; n=2. Plagioclase An96.2±0.8Or0.1±0.1 (An95.4-98.0Or0.0-0.3); n=11.

Classification: Lunar (feldspathic breccia), based on texture and mineral chemistry

Specimens: 20 g at IfP; main mass with Mohamed Ali Loud, Miguel Angel Contreras Gomez, Viktor Plamenov Ivanov.

from The Meteoritical Bulletin, No. 112

Bechar 007

Bechar, Algeria
Find: 2022 June
Mass: 4000 g (many pieces)

Lunar meteorite (feldspathic breccia)

History: Initially, some lunar meteorites were found by a nomad while he was grazing in the Bechar DCA in Algeria. Adrián Contreras Gómez (CRATER meteorites) and Carlos Muñecas Muñoz (Expometeoritos) organized a search expedition including four local people for 14 days in June 2022 in the area 9.0 km heading 94.7° from Bechar 003. A large number of pieces of different sizes were found at the surface and subsurface.

Physical Characteristics: Some samples have dark-colored, windblown exterior and others have a light grayish-orange caliche covered exterior. The cut face shows the interior has a brecciated texture composed of light-colored clasts within a darker matrix.

Petrography: Description and classification (A. Love, App) Sample is a partially vesicular polymict feldspathic breccia composed of mm-sized lithic clasts and abundant shocked mineral clasts. Lithic clasts show poikilitic, granulitic and shock melted vitric brecciated textures. Additional minerals are: FeNi metal, ilmenite, troilite and rare phosphate minerals.

Geochemistry: (A. Love, App) Plagioclase (An96.9±1.5Or0.0, n=12); olivine (Fa30.9±6.7, Fe/Mn=101.0±16.0, n=15); low-Ca pyroxene (Fs23.8±6.2Wo3.4±0.7, Fe/Mn=60.3±7.0, n=7); pigeonite (Fs25.3±2.9Wo9.3±3.7, Fe/Mn=59.0±5.7, n=8); high-Ca pyroxene (Fs13.9±1.2Wo37.7±1.6, Fe/Mn=84.0±3.2, n=6).

Classification: Lunar achondrite (feldspathic breccia (A-S2 low weathering)). Based on textures and mineral compositions, sample is a feldspathic breccia

Specimens: The main masses are jointly held by Carlos Muñecas Muñoz (Expometeoritos) and Adrian Contreras Gomez (CRATER meteorites). A polished thin section and number of small individuals weighing 22.01 g are on deposit at App.

from The Meteoritical Bulletin, No. 112

Bechar 009

Bechar, Algeria
Found: 2021
Mass: 897 g (1 piece)

Lunar meteorite (feldspathic breccia)

History: Found December 2021 in Algeria near Mechraa Houari Bou; subsequently purchased in February 2022 by Craig Zlimen.

Physical Characteristics: Single stone with slightly weathered exterior and absent fusion crust..

Petrography: (D. Sheikh, Cascadia) Specimen is a polymict breccia comprised of mm to cm-sized lithic clasts and mm-sized mineral clasts set within a mostly fine-grained matrix containing accessory ilmenite, titanomagnetite, troilite, and SiO2-rich glass. Certain areas in the matrix contain melt pockets, melt veins, recrystallized melt, and vesicles. Clast lithologies identified include anorthosites, impact melt clasts, norites and noritic anorthosites; unusual clast lithologies are also observed, including a silica-bearing ferroan wehrlite and an alkali feldspar granite (~35 vol. % silica, ~55 vol. % potassium feldspar, ~6 vol. % plagioclase feldspar, Av. grain size ~0.1 mm in longest dimension, contains regions displaying graphic textures). Plagioclase feldspar has been transformed into maskelynite in some regions of the sample.

Geochemistry: Olivine (Fa50.4±31.9, range Fa12.8-86.7, Fe/Mn=89±14, n=25), Low-Ca Pyroxene (Fs23.4±4.0Wo2.6±0.7, range Fs20.6-26.2Wo2.6-0.7, Fe/Mn=55±5, n=2), Pigeonite (Fs42.8±23.5Wo8.6±2.7, range Fs25.8-69.6Wo6.6-11.7, Fe/Mn=64±4, n=3), High-Ca Pyroxene (Fs30.3±15.1Wo38.1±4.8, range Fs5.8-43.3Wo26.6-44.2, Fe/Mn=62±14, n=21), Calcic Plagioclase (An94.1±2.3Or0.3±0.3, range An90.5-97.7Or0.1-1.4, n=23). Alkali feldspar granite clast [Plagioclase (An42.3±1.1Or1.5±0.1, range An41.5-43.0Or1.5-1.6, n=2), Potassium Feldspar (An8.1±2.2Or64.5±5.3, range An5.7-10.0Or60.0-70.3, n=3)].

Classification: Lunar (feldspathic breccia).

Specimens: 22.3 g at Cascadia, 174 g with Jason Phillips, main mass with Craig Zlimen.

from The Meteoritical Bulletin, No. 112

Bechar 010

Bechar, Algeria
Find: 2022
Mass: 681 g (several pieces)

Lunar meteorite (feldspathic breccia)

History: Lunar meteorite (feldspathic breccia).

Physical Characteristics: Dark irregular stones. Cut surface reveals a dark interior with mm-sized whitish clasts and visible metal.

Petrography: (J. Gattacceca, CEREGE) Olivine, pyroxene and plagioclase mineral clasts to 400 µm set in a glassy and partially recrystallized feldspathic matrix. A microgabbroic clast was observed. Metal, troilite and chromite are present.

Geochemistry: Olivine Fa26.1±3.2, FeO/MnO = 100.8±20.3 (n=4), pyroxene Fs35.9Wo10.9, FeO/MnO = 69.2 (n=1), feldspathic matrix An96.4Ab3.4Or0.2 (n=2), plagioclase in microgabbroic clast An96.2Ab3.6Or0.1 (n=1).

Classification: Lunar (feldspathic breccia). Likely paired with Bechar 003.

Specimens: Type specimen at CEREGE. 99 g with Isabelle Pothier, 406 g with Jason Phillips, 176 g with Matt Morgan.

from The Meteoritical Bulletin, No. 112

Bechar 011

Bechar, Algeria
Purchased: 2022
Mass: 354.18 g (52 pieces)

Lunar meteorite (feldspathic breccia)

History: Bought by Emilie Cèbe and Arnaud Valz-Blin (Eclectic-Art) on June 19, 2022, from Yunès Chaoui, a Moroccan dealer who had bought the material from an Algerian dealer.

Physical Characteristics: Cm-sized dark gray irregular fragments.

Petrography:  (J. Gattacceca, CEREGE) Minerals clasts of plagioclase, olivine, pyroxene, to 400 µm and granoblastic lithic clasts to 500 µm set in a glassy to finely recyrstallized feldspathic matrix with vacuoles to 50 µm. Accessory minerals: silica polymorph, chromite, troilite, ilmenite, rare metal.

Geochemistry: Olivine Fa34.7, FeO/MnO 96.3 (n=2). Pyroxene Fs23.6±1.7Wo20.9±9.1, FeO/MnO 60.0±6.0 (n=3). Feldspathic matrix An97.8Ab2.2Or0.0 (n=1). Granoblastic lithic clast: olivine Fa47.5, FeO/MnO 137.9 (n=1), pyroxene Fs19.6Wo36.5 (n=2).

Geochemistry: Olivine Fa26.1±3.2, FeO/MnO = 100.8±20.3 (n=4), pyroxene Fs35.9Wo10.9, FeO/MnO = 69.2 (n=1), feldspathic matrix An96.4Ab3.4Or0.2 (n=2), plagioclase in microgabbroic clast An96.2Ab3.6Or0.1 (n=1).

Classification: Achondrite (lunar feldspathic breccia).

Specimens: Type specimen at CEREGE. Main mass with Eclectic Art.

Randy Says…

I have not studied the Bechar stones. I assume that they are paired from the descriptions and reported find proximity. The reported find locations of Bechar 003 and Bechar 011 are exactly the same. Bechar 006, 007, 009, and 010 were found within a kilometer of each other about 9 km to the west of Bechar 003/011.

More Information

Meteoritical Bulletin Database

Bechar 003 | 006 | 007 | 009 | 010 | 011


Sheikh D. and Ruzicka A. M. (2023) Felsite “frenzy” in lunar meteorite Bechar 009: Constraining the role of silicate liquid immiscibility (SLI) on lunar felsite petrogenesis. 86th Annual Meeting of the Meteoritical Society, abstract no. 6219.