Lunar Meteorite: Northwest Africa 12008

Northwest Africa 12008. Photo credit: Neil Buckland

From The Meteoritical Bulletin, No. 107

Northwest Africa 12008 (NWA 12008)

Purchased: 2018 August
Mass: 577 g (1 piece)

Lunar Meteorite (basalt)

History: Purportedly found in Morocco and purchased by Ben Hoefnagels in August 2018 from a dealer in Zagora, Morocco.

Petrography: (A. Irving and S. Kuehner, UWS) Small olivine phenocrysts (stained orange-brown) are set in an intersertal groundmass composed mainly of zoned clinopyroxene and elongate lath-like maskelynite with accessory skeletal ilmenite, Ti-chromite, Cr-Ti-Fe spinel, troilite and minor barite. Olivine contains inclusions of chromite and quenched melt inclusions (surrounded by radial cracks) composed of Al-Ti-bearing augite + K-bearing glass.

Geochemistry: Olivine (cores Fa36.6-42.3, rim Fa90.0, FeO/MnO = 96-99, N = 3), pigeonite (Fs31.1Wo14.0, FeO/MnO = 50), subcalcic augite (Fs25.9-71.4Wo28.6-23.1, FeO/MnO = 50-75, N = 5), augite (Fs23.2Wo39.7, FeO/MnO = 49), ferropigeonite (Fs80.1Wo19.5, FeO/MnO = 79), augite in melt inclusion (Fs28.8Wo50.1, FeO/MnO = 71, Al2O3 = 10.5 wt.%, TiO2 = 5.3 wt.%), plagioclase (An86.8-87.6Or0.4-0.3, N = 2).

Classification: Lunar (mare basalt).

Specimens: 25.2 g including two polished thin sections at UWB; remainder with Mr. B. Hoefnagels.

Randy Says…

I have not studied this one. The composition given in Cohen et al. (2019) is all but indistinguishable from that of NWA 032/479 but the texture is different. 40Ar/39Ar ages, however, are essential identical and very young, 2815 ± 70 My for 12008 (Assis Fernandes et al., 2022). The meteorites may be launch pairs.

More Information

Meteoritical Bulletin Database

NWA 12008


Assis Fernandes V., Pfänder J. A., Bizzarro M., Hoefnagels B., Khan A., and Zhang A.-C. (2022) 40Ar/39Ar ages for lunar basaltic meteorites Northwest Africa 8632 and 12008. Forming and Exploring Habitable Worlds, Edinburgh.

Cohen M. E., Kuehner S. M., Tepper J. H., Burney D. C., Neal C. R., Irving A. J., Korotev R. L., and B. Hoefnagels (2019) Mineralogy and bulk composition of lunar mare basalt Northwest Africa 12008 (abstract). 50th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, abstract no. 2508.

Grèbol-Tomàs P., Trigo-Rodríguez J. M., Ibáñez-Insa J., Peña-Asensio E., Cuscó R., Weber I. and Sort J. (2024) Nanoindentation of lunar basalts: Mechanical properties of the Northwest Africa (NWA) 12008 meteorite. 55th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, abstract no. 1108.

Webb S., Neal C. R., Gawronska A., and Day J. M. D. (2019) Crystal size distribution patterns for lunar meteorites Northwest Africa 12008, 4898, 8632, 3136 and three LaPaz Icefield lunar meteorites (abstract). 50th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, abstract no. 2686.

Zhang A. C., Fernandes V. A, and Hoefnagels B. (2019) Shock metamorphism of the new basaltic lunar meteorite Northwest Africa 12008. 82nd Annual Meeting of the Meteoritical Society, abstract no. 6117.