Lunar Meteorite: Northwest Africa 12279


from The Meteoritical Bulletin, No. 107

Northwest Africa 12279 (NWA 12279)

Tindouf, Algeria
Purchased: 2016 October 10
Mass: 1830 g (1 piece)

Lunar Meteorite (feldspathic breccia)

History: The meteorite was purchased in Denver USA by Zhouping Guo and Guobing Zhong on September, 2017 from Adam Aaronson.

Physical characteristics: A single bulk specimen, with sepia fresh fusion crust and low weathering degree. A large impact molten mass was observed in the specimen.

Petrography: This lunar meteorite comprises two petrographic areas: impact melt breccia and anorthosite. The anorthosite includes forsterite, pigeonite, low-Ca pyroxene, plagioclase and minor minerals such as ilmenite, chromite, quartz and other opaque minerals. It has a subophitic structure. The impact-melt breccia contains various types of lithic clasts (anorthosite, olivine-gabbro, gabbro), mineral and glassy fragments. The matrix consists of very fine-grained, cryptocrystalline (~0.1mm) and vitric particles with sporadic small vesicles.

Geochemistry: (J.K. Zhou, H.Y. Chen, Z.P. Xia, Guilin University of Technology, China): Olivine, Fa12.8-46.3Fo53.8-87.3, FeO/MnO=66.3-96.9 (n=29); Orthopyroxene, Fs15.5-32.2Wo2.98-4.22En64.9-80.3, Fe/Mn(mol)=54.5-69.3 (n=3); Pigeonite: Fs23.2-53.1Wo7.19-23.7En39.8-57.4, Fe/Mn(mol)=51.1-61.7 (n=6); Augite, Fs8.42-44.4Wo31.4-44.1En18.7-47.5, Fe/Mn(mol)=37.1-53.9 (n=14); Plagioclase: An92.9-98.5Or0.06-0.69 (n=15); Spinel: MgO, 20.1%-23.6%; Al2O3, 59.5%-69.2%; Cr2O3, 3.91%-6.00%; FeO,6.05%-7.46%.

Classification: Lunar (anorthositic impact-melt breccia)

Specimens: 30.2 g including one polished thin section are deposited in College of Earth Sciences, Guilin University of Technology, China; Remaining material with Guobing Zhong and Zhouping Guo.

Randy Says…

I have not studied Northwest Africa 12279.

April 2020: Right now there are several ~5-g complete (uncut) stones identified as “a NWA 12279 probable pairing found in Algeria in 2016″ being sold on ebay. I don’t know how the sellers know that the stones are paired. Also advertised for the stone in the photo below: “light oriented piece, with mini regmaglypts.” Given that there is no fusion crust, it can’t have regmaglypts or be “oriented,” right?

NWA 12279 alleged pair on ebay.

It looks like (yet another) NWA 8046-clan pair, considering the appearance, which be consistent with the reported data and find location. I don’t have a photo of the 1830-g NWA 12279 type specimen, which may also be an NWA 8046-clan pair. So, the NWAe12279 pair contention might be correct. 

More Information

Meteoritical Bulletin Database

NWA 12279

Lunar Meteorites | List of Lunar meteorites