Lunar Meteorite: Northwest Africa 10495 & Sueilila 005 (paired?)

northwestern Africa

Two views of one of the larger NWA 10495 stones. If someone had sent me this photo asking “Is this a meteorite,” I probably would have said “no.” Photo credit: Ahmad Bouragaa

Two sides of one of the NWA 10495 stones. Photo credit: Ahmad Bouragaa

Some of the smaller NWA 10495 stones. Photo credit: Ahmad Bouragaa

Finders with Sueilila 005. Photo credit: Ahmad Bouragaa

Sueilila 005. Photo credit: Ahmad Bouragaa

Lab samples of three of the NWA 10495 stones. Photo credit: Randy Korotev

Lab samples of three of Sueilila 005. Photo credit: Randy Korotev

from The Meteoritical Bulletin, No. 105

Northwest Africa 10495 (NWA 10495)

Purchased: 2015
Mass: 15.6 kg (several pieces)

Lunar Meteorite (feldspathic breccia)

History: A group of similar stones were found together at an undisclosed location in southern Morocco during 2015.

Physical characteristics: Several grayish brown stones (total weight 15.6 kg) lacking fusion crust, but with a polished external appearance. All exhibit the same overall fine grained texture, with some visible larger whitish clasts within a dark gray matrix.

Petrography: (A. Irving and S. Kuehner, UWS) Relatively fine grained fragmental breccia composed of mineral clasts of anorthite, pigeonite, olivine, augite, Ti-chromite and troilite set in a matrix containing minor secondary barite.

Geochemistry: Olivine (Fa34.8-42.3, FeO/MnO = 86-95, N = 4), pigeonite (Fs29.8-32.4Wo8.8-12.9, FeO/MnO = 47-52, N = 3), augite (Fs20.6Wo35.4, FeO/MnO = 49), plagioclase (An96.4-97.1Or0.1, N = 2).

Bulk composition: (R. Korotev, WUSL) INAA of subsamples gave the following mean abundances: (in wt.%) FeO 7.0, Na2O 0.30; (in ppm) Sc 17.0, La 1.9, Sm 1.0, Eu 0.67, Yb 1.0, Lu 0.15, Hf 0.6, Th 0.15.

Classification: Lunar (feldspathic breccia).

Specimens: 24.3 g including one stone polished on one side at UWB; the remaining material is held by the anonymous finders.

from The Meteoritical Bulletin, No. 108

Sueilila 005

Rio de Oro, Western Sahara
Find: 2015 April
Mass: 282 g (1 piece)

Lunar meteorite (feldspathic breccia)

History: The stone was found by two Moroccan hunters in April 2015 in a barren region. Further searching in the area led to the recovery of other similar-appearing stones totaling 15.6 kilograms, but this first stone was considered to be possibly different (because of the presence of some larger lithic clasts), and it was excluded from the classification of the other stones as a group under the name NWA 10495. Subsequently the first stone was sold by the finders to a Moroccan dealer, who in turn sold it in February 2018 at the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show to representatives of ArtAncient (a British antiquities dealer).

Physical characteristics: A single, dark brown stone (282 g) lacking fusion crust but exhibiting a glossy weathering patina. Sawcuts reveal a very fine grained interior with diffuse larger whitish to black clasts.

Petrography: (A. Irving and S. Kuehner, UWS; P. Carpenter, WUSL) Breccia consisting of sporadic gabbroic anorthosite and rare dunite clasts in a fine grained crystalline matrix. Minerals are anorthite, exsolved pigeonite, orthopyroxene, pigeonite, subcalcic augite, olivine, ilmenite, Ti chromite (with variable Ti content) and secondary barite.

Geochemistry: Anorthite (An97.1-97.4Or0.0, N = 2), low-Ca pyroxene host (Fs50.1Wo6.0, FeO/MnO = 58), augite exsolution lamella (Fs25.1Wo40.9, FeO/MnO = 59), augite host (Fs26.6Wo40.2, FeO/MnO = 57), orthopyroxene exsolution lamella (Fs56.1Wo1.7, FeO/MnO = 55), orthopyroxene (Fs39.6-41.7Wo2.7-3.2, FeO/MnO = 59-63), pigeonite (Fs26.7Wo19.4, FeO/MnO = 55), subcalcic augite (Fs21.0-39.2Wo26.8-25.1, FeO/MnO = 46-59), olivine (Fa41.3-56.8, FeO/MnO = 89-99, N = 3), olivine in dunite clast (Fa46.7-48.0, FeO/MnO = 93-97, N =2).

Classification: Lunar (feldspathic breccia). This specimen is from the same strewnfield as the NWA 10495 stones and is very likely paired with them.

Specimens: 21.5 g in the form of two slices (one polished) at UWB; remainder with ArtAncient, Chelsea Creek, 31 Imperial Road, London SW6 2FR, UK.

Randy Says…

Compositionally, this is a heterogeneous meteorite. It’s one of the most severely contaminated with terrestrial barium.

More Information

Meteoritical Bulletin Database

NWA 10495 | Sueilila 005


Korotev R. L. and Irving A. J. (2017) Still not keeping up with the lunar meteorites – 2017Lunar and Planetary Science XLVIII, abstract no. 1498.

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

Lunar Meteorites | List of Lunar meteorites