Lunar Meteorite: Northwest Africa 10973

Two slices of Northwest Africa 10973. These views of the meteorite appear more vesicular than described in the Meteoritical Bulletin description below. Photo credits: John Higgins

from The Meteoritical Bulletin, No. 105

Northwest Africa 10973 (NWA 10973)

(Northwestern Africa)
Purchased: 2016 Sep
Mass: 25 g (1 piece)

Classification: Lunar meteorite (feldspathic breccia)

History: Purchased by John Higgins in September 2016 from a dealer in Nouakchott, Mauritania.

Physical characteristics: A single dark stone (25 g) lacking fusion crust. The fresh interior exhibits small white clasts within a dominant, dark-gray matrix containing sparse vesicles.

Petrography: (A. Irving and S. Kuehner, UWS) Breccia composed of small angular mineral clasts of anorthite, bytownite, pigeonite, olivine, orthopyroxene, Mg-merrillite, ilmenite and kamacite in a finer matrix containing sparse vesicles.

Geochemistry: Olivine (Fa40.1-47.0, FeO/MnO = 84-88, N = 3), orthopyroxene (Fs24.2-36.7Wo4.9-4.1, FeO/MnO = 52-56, N = 2), pigeonite (Fs24.8Wo14.7, FeO/MnO = 46; Fs43.4Wo17.6, FeO/MnO = 54), plagioclase (An90.3Or0.4; An81.5Or1.4; N = 2).

Classification: Lunar (feldspathic regolith breccia).

Specimens: 5.01 g including one polished slice at UWB; remainder with Mr. J. Higgins.

Randy Says…

NWA 10973 is a feldspathic lunar meteorite that is moderately rich in KREEP elements, with a composition like Apollo 16 soil.

More Information

Meteoritical Bulletin Database

NWA 10973


Korotev R. L. and Irving A. J. (2017) Still not keeping up with the lunar meteorites – 2017. 48th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, abstract no. 1498.

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