Lunar Meteorite: Northwest Africa 7959

Northwest Africa 7959 in the field. Photo credit: Mohamed Aid
NWA 7959 in hand. Photo credit: Mohamed Aid
Sawn face of NWA 7959 Photo credit: Stefan Ralew
Lab sample of NWA 7959. Photo credit: Randy Korotev

from The Meteoritical Bulletin, No. 102

Northwest Africa 7959 (NWA 7959)

(Northwest Africa)
Purchased: 2013 June
Mass: 156 g (1 piece)

Classification: Lunar meteorite (feldspathic breccia)

History: Purchased by Stefan Ralew in June 2013 from a Moroccan dealer at the Ensisheim Show.

Petrography: (A. Irving and S. Kuehner, UWS) Angular mineral clasts are set in a fine grained, vesicular glassy matrix. Minerals are olivine, orthopyroxene, pigeonite, augite, anorthite, ilmenite and small, ragged grains of kamacite. Small amounts of terrestrial calcite and barite are present.

Geochemistry: Olivine (Fa14.7-35.9, FeO/MnO = 77-107), orthopyroxene (Fs17.3Wo2.5, FeO/MnO = 55), pigeonite (Fs23.6-24.4Wo9.9-11.4, FeO/MnO = 47-49), augite (Fs13.2Wo40.6, FeO/MnO = 36), anorthite (An96.0-96.1Or0.0).

Bulk composition (R. Korotev, WUSL): INAA of subsamples gave mean abundances of FeO 3.3 wt.%, and (in ppm) Sc 19, La 2.6, Sm 1.2, Eu 0.78, Yb 0.8, Th 0.4.

Classification: Lunar (feldspathic regolithic breccia).

Specimens: 20.2 g are at UWB. The remainder is with Ralew.

Randy Says…

Compositionally, Northwest Africa 7959 is a typical feldspathic lunar meteorite, but different from the any others in detail.

More Information

Meteoritical Bulletin Database

NWA 7959

Korotev R. L. and Irving A. J. (2014) Keeping up with the lunar meteorites  2014. 45th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, abstract no. 1405.

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