Lunar Meteorite: Northwest Africa 482

Northwest Africa 482 appears very fresh, with a shiny fusion crust and flow lines.  Clasts are visible through the fusion crust. Photo credit: Jim Strope
It has some nice regmaglypts. Photo credit: Jim Strope
Sawn face of NWA 482, with melt veins. Photo credit: Jim Strope
Lab samples. Photo credit: Randy Korotev
from The Meteoritical Bulletin, No. 85

Northwest Africa 482

(Northwestern Africa)
Purchased: 2001 January 10
Mass: 1015 g (1 piece)

Lunar meteorite (impact melt breccia)

History: A 1015 g stone was purchased on 2001 January 10 in Alnif, Morocco, by Michael Farmer. The exact location of find is unknown but it is possibly in Algeria. The stone is complete, oriented, and appears relatively unweathered.

Classification and mineralogy (A. Rubin and P. Warren, UCLA, and D. Kring and I. Daubar, UAz): texture is typical of a crystalline impact melt breccia (polymict) with highland affinities; glassy and vesicular melt veins and melt pockets indicate shock subsequent to compaction by an impact event; plagioclase, An95.7Ab4.09Or0.17 (n = 136, UAz); olivine, Fo65-68 (average Fo66) with FeO/MnO = 88 ± 7 g/g (UCLA); olivine Fo68.4 with FeO/MnO = 93.9 ± 7.7 g/g (range: 78.7 to 111) (n = 51, UAz); pyroxene, Fs25Wo17 with nearly uniform Mg/(Mg+Fe) = 67-68 mol% and FeO/MnO = 51 ± 6 g/g (n = 10, UCLA); pyroxene, Wo10.3- 51En32.6-63.9Fs42.6-14.2, mean Mg/(Mg+Fe) = 68 mol%, FeO/MnO = 52 ± 8 g/g (n = 28, UAz); glassy melt veins occur in both UCLA and UAz samples; a 0.1 mm vein (UCLA) has SiO2 = 44.3 wt.%, Na2O = 0.3 wt.%, Al2O3 = 30.0 wt.%, FeO = 3.6 wr.%, MgO = 3.9 wt.%, CaO = 17.3 wt.%, and TiO2 = 0.3 wt.%, which may approximate the bulk meteorite composition.

Specimens: Half of the main mass is with Farmer; type specimens, 24 g, UCLA, and 18 g, UAz.

Randy Says…

NWA 482 is one of the most beautiful of lunar meteorites. It is a crystalline impact-melt breccia, which is one of the less common breccia types among lunar meteorites. Compositionally, it is a typical feldspathic lunar meteorite.

More Information

Meteoritical Bulletin Database

NWA 482


Calzada-Diaz A., Joy K. H., Crawford I. A., and Nordheim T. A. (2015) Constraining the source regions of lunar meteorites using orbital geochemical dataMeteoritics & Planetary Science 50, 214-228.

Chiu I.-H., Terada K., Osawa T., Park C., Takeshita S., Miyake Y., and Ninomiya K. (2023) Non-destructive elemental analysis of lunar meteorites using a negative muon beamMeteoritics & Planetary Science, 1333-1344.

Consolmagno G. J., Russell S. S., and Jeffries T. E. (2004) An in-situ study of REE abundances in three anorthositic impact melt lunar highland meteoritesLunar and Planetary Science XXXV, abstract no. 1370.

Daubar I. J., Kring D. A., Swindle T. D., and Jull A. J. T. (2002) Northwest Africa 482: A crystalline impact-melt breccia from the lunar highlandsMeteoritics & Planetary Science 37, 1797-1814.

Fischer-Gödde M., Becker H., Wombacher F. (2010) Highly siderophile element abundances and 187Os/188Os in lunar impact melt rocks: Implications for late accretion processes in the Earth-Moon system meteorites41st Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, abstract no. 2262.

Fritz J. (2012) Impact ejection of lunar meteorites and the age of Giordano BrunoIcarus 221, 1183-1186.

Hidaka H. and Yoneda S. (2013) Isotopic studies of radiogenic and neutron-captured REE of lunar meteorites. 76th Annual Meeting of the Meteoritical Society, abstract no. 5042.

Joy K. H., Burgess R., Ruzie L, and Clay P. L. (2014) Composition, age and regolith history of feldspathic lunar meteorites. 77th Annual Meeting of the Meteoritical Society, abstract no. 5345.

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

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

Korotev R. L., Jolliff B. L., Zeigler R. A., Gillis J. J., and Haskin L. A. (2003) Feldspathic lunar meteorites and their implications for compositional remote sensing of the lunar surface and the composition of the lunar crustGeochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 67, 4895-4923.

Korotev R. L., Irving A. J., and Bunch T. E. (2008) Keeping up with the lunar meteorites – 2008Lunar and Planetary Science XXXIX, abstract no. 1209.

Lorenzetti S., Busemann H., and Eugster O. (2005) Regolith history of lunar meteoritesMeteoritics & Planetary Science 40, 315-327.

Macke R. J., Kiefer W. S., Britt D. T., and Consolmagno G. J. (2010) Density, porosity and magnetic susceptibility of lunar rocks41st Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, abstract no. 1252.

Macke R. J., Britt D. T., and Consolmagno G. J. (2011) Density, porosity and magnetic susceptibility of achondritic meteoritesMeteoritics & Planetary Science 46, 311-326.

Nishiizumi K. (2003) Exposure histories of lunar meteorites. Evolution of Solar System Materials: A New Perspective from Antarctic Meteorites, 104.

Nishiizumi K. and Caffee M. W. (2001) Exposure histories of lunar meteorites Dhofar 025, 026, and Northwest Africa 482. 64th Annual Meeting, Meteoritical Society, abstract no. 5411.

Povinec P. P., Sýkora I., Jull A. J. T., Kornoš L., Macke R. J., Porubčan V., and Tóth J. (2019) Aluminium-26 in martian and lunar meteorites: A comparison of cosmic-ray exposure ages. 82nd Annual Meeting of the Meteoritical Society, abstract no. 6309.

Puchtel I. S., Walker R. J., Kring D. A., and James O. B. (2007) Further study of 187Os/188Os and highly siderophile element systematics of lunar impact melt rocksLunar and Planetary Science XXXVIII, abstract no. 2040.

Puchtel I. S., Walker R. J., James O. B., and Kring D. A. (2008) Osmium isotope and highly siderophile element systematics of lunar impact melt breccias: Implications for the late accretion history of the Moon and EarthGeochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 72, 3022-3042.

Takeda H., Yamaguchi A., Otsuki M., Hiroi T., Ohtake M., and Kato M. (2010) Mineralogical interpretation on the feldspathic highlands of the Moon on the basis of some feldspathic lunar meteorites. 73rd Annual Meeting of the Meteoritical Society, abstract no. 5060.

Warren P. H. and Kallemeyn G. W. (2001) New lunar meteorite Northwest Africa 482: An anorthositic impact melt breccia with low KREEP content. 64th Annual Meeting of the Meteoritical Society, abstract no. 5453.

Warren P. H., Ulff-Møller F., and Kallemeyn G. W. (2005) “New” lunar meteorites: Impact melt and regolith breccias and large-scale heterogeneities of the upper lunar crustMeteoritics & Planetary Science 40, 989-1014.