Lunar Meteorite: Northeast Africa 001

Slices of Northeast Africa 001. Photo credits: Anne Black (left) and Erich Haiderer (right)
Northeast Africa 001. Photo credits: unknown
A slice of NEA 001. The white and orange material at the right is terrestrial alteration, mainly calcite and hematite that precipitated from solution in a fracture. Other photos that I have seen of slices of the meteorite are similarly altered. In this regard, NEA 001 is one of the most severely altered lunar meteorites that I have seen. Tick marks on ruler are spaced at 1 mm increments. Photo credit: Randy Korotev

from The Meteoritical Bulletin, No. 89

Northeast Africa 001 (NEA 001)

Found: 2002 April
Mass: 262 g (1 piece)

Lunar meteorite (anorthositic regolith breccia)

A brownish grey stone weighing 262 g was found by a prospector in northern Sudan near the Libya/Egypt/Sudan boundary in 2002 April. Fusion crust is absent, fresh surface is grey to dark grey, and terrestrial alteration products are present at the meteorite edges and in penetrating cracks and veins.

Classification and mineralogy (J. Haloda and P. Tycova, PCU): a clast-rich anorthositic regolith breccia containing numerous mineral fragments and lithic clasts embedded in a well-consolidated microcrystalline impact melt matrix. Lithic clasts (up to 1 cm in size) are mainly of anorthositic lithologies; impact-melt breccias of anorthositic composition are abundant and show commonly breccia-in-breccia textures. Fragments of primary igneous rocks of anorthositic to gabbroic composition are common, containing plagioclase, An95.1-97.2, low-Ca pyroxene, En46-65 Wo2.1-5, high-Ca pyroxene, En35-48Wo37-44, and rare olivine, Fo79.4. Sparse clasts of mare basalts (consisting of pigeonite plus anorthite plus accessory ilmenite), and glass fragments and spherules are present. Mineral fragments are of various composition: feldspar, An92-99; orthopyroxene, Wo2-4En49-80; clinopyroxene, Wo9-39En50-87; olivine, Fo48-82 (Fe/Mn 93-100 atom%); accessory minerals are Mg-Al spinel, chromite, ilmenite (2-5 wt% MgO), troilite, FeNi metal and silica. Several pyroxene grains have marginal symplectitic intergrowths of fayalite+ hedenbergite+silica after former pyroxferroite. Composition of the impact-melt matrix is (wt%): SiO2 = 45.7, Al2O3 = 24.1, FeO = 7.2, MgO = 7.4, CaO = 14.6, Na2O = 0.5, TiO2 = 0.5. Secondary calcite, barite, gypsum and Fe hydroxides occur in cracks.

Specimens: type specimen, 20 g, and one polished thin section, PCU; 5.8 g, and one polished thin section, UWS; 59.66 g, ROM; 60 g, Hupé; 9.7 g, Gregory; main mass with finder.

Randy Says…

NEA 001 is the first lunar meteorite recognized from northeastern Africa. It is one of the most altered of lunar meteorites from terrestrial weathering.

More Information

Meteoritical Bulletin Database

NEA 001


Fritz J. (2012) Impact ejection of lunar meteorites and the age of Giordano Bruno.Icarus221, 1183-1186.

Haloda J., Irving A. J., and Týcová P. (2005) Lunar meteorite Northeast Africa 001: An anorthositic regolith breccia with mixed highland/mare componentsLunar and Planetary Science XXXVI, abstract no. 1487.

Korotev R. L. (2005) Lunar geochemistry as told by lunar meteoritesChemie der Erde 65, 297-346.

Korotev R. L. (2008) Using composition to assess pairing relationships among lunaitesGeochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 72, 12S, A492.

Korotev R. L and Irving A. J. (2005) Compositions of three lunar meteorites: Meteorite Hills 01210, Northeast Africa 001, and Northwest Africa 3136Lunar and Planetary Science XXXVI, abstract no. 1220.

Korotev R. L. and Irving A. J. (2021) Lunar meteorites from northern Africa. Meteoritics & Planetary Science, 206–240. 

Rochette P., Gattacceca J., Ivanov A. V., Nazarov M. A., and Bezaeva N. S. (2010) Magnetic properties of lunar materials: Meteorites, Luna and Apollo returned samplesEarth and Planetary Science Letters 292, 383-391.

Snape J. F., Joy K. H., Crawford I. A., and Beard A. D. (2008) A petrographic study of lunar meteorite Northeast Africa 001Lunar and Planetary Science XXXIX, abstract no. 1316.

Snape J. F., Joy K. H., and Crawford I. A. (2009) A trace-element investigation of lunar meteorite Northeast Africa 00140th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, abstract no. 1539.

Snape J. F., Joy K. H., and Crawford I. A. (2011) Characterization of multiple lithologies within the lunar feldspathic regolith breccia meteorite Northeast Africa 001Meteoritics & Planetary Science 46, 1288-1312.