Lunar Meteorite: Northwest Africa 7493

The six pieces of Northwest Africa 7493 (503 g). Photo credit: Mohamed Aid
Three slices of Northwest Africa 7493. Photo credit: Matt Morgan
Lab sample of Northwest Africa 7493. Thanks to Carl Agee for the sample. Photo credit: Randy Korotev

from The Meteoritical Bulletin, No. 101

Northwest Africa 7493 (NWA 7493)

Purchased: August 2012
Mass: 503 g (6 pieces)

Lunar meteorite (feldspathic breccia)

History: Found in July 2011, reportedly near Zag, Morocco. Purchased by Jay Piatek and Matt Morgan in August 2012 from a dealer in Ouarzazate.

Physical characteristics: Six matching separate stones (total weight 503 g), consisting of two larger stones (341 g and 146 g) and four smaller pieces (total 16 g). Irregular, desert-weathered exterior with heavy patina in places and visible light and dark patches. Sawn slices exhibit a brecciated texture dominated by medium gray, tan and white lithic clasts plus white feldspar grains (up to 5 mm across) set in a sparse, darker gray matrix. Some thin veins of terrestrial weathering products visible.

Petrography: (C. Agee, UNM; A. Irving, UWS; R. Mills, JSC) Microprobe examination of five polished mounts and a complete slice shows this specimen to be a fragmental breccia composed primarily of quenched melt clasts and calcic plagioclase grains occurring in a wide range of grain sizes. There are numerous scattered olivine and zoned pyroxene grains throughout, rare grains of exsolved pigeonite, ilmenite, Ti-chromite, troilite, silica polymorph and iron metal. Shock melt domains are common containing plagioclase grains set in a matrix of quench crystals. A single “granophyre” clast (100 microns across) composed of intergrown K-feldspar+silica was observed. Secondary barite and iron oxide/hydroxide were detected.

Geochemistry: (C. Agee and M. Spilde, UNM; A. Greshake and P. Czaja, MNB; A. Irving and S. Kuehner, UWS). Olivine Fa39.6±7.8, Fe/Mn=94±8, n=49; low-Ca pyroxene Fs37.4±7.0Wo4.7±1.6, Fe/Mn=57±8, n=30; pigeonite Fs34.4±9.4Wo12.9±4.0, Fe/Mn=60±5, n=15; high-Ca pyroxenes Fs26.9±10.9Wo38.4±4.6, Fe/Mn=58±9, n=15; plagioclase An96.6±0.6Ab3.3±0Or0.2±0.15, n=17. Bulk composition (R. Korotev, WUSL). INAA on 18 subsamples gave the following mean values: Na2O=0.331, CaO=16.3, FeO=4.52 (all wt%); Sc=8.67, Cr=587, Co=12.48, Ni=81, La=2.09, Nd=3.2, Sm=0.984, Eu=0.772, Lu=0.111, Hf=0.63, Ir=0.0037, Au=0.0021, Th=0.29, U=0.16 (all ppm).

Oxygen Isotopes, laser fluorination (K. Ziegler, UNM), 12 analyses on 5 acid-washed aliquots gave mean values d17O=2.963±0.126, d18O=5.646±0.316, Δ17O=-0.018±0.06 (linearized, all permil).

Classification: Achondrite (lunar, feldspathic breccia)

Specimens: A total of 30 g of material including two probe mounts are on deposit at UNM. The remainder is divided between Dr. J. Piatek and Mr. M. Morgan, with Dr. J. Piatek holding the main portion of the largest stone and the other five stones.

Randy Says…

Compositionally, Northwest Africa 7493 is a typical feldspathic lunar meteorite.

More Information

Meteoritical Bulletin Database

NWA 7493


Agee C. B., Korotev R. L., and Irving A. J. (2013) Petrology and bulk composition of two lunar fragmental breccias: Northwest Africa 7493 and Northwest Africa 7611. 44th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, abstract no. 2629.

Korotev R. L. and Irving A. J. (2013) Keeping up with the lunar meteorites  201344th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, abstract no. 1216.

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