Lunar Meteorite: Northwest Africa 14729

Two sides of a 2.5-g slice of Northwest Africa 14729. Photo credit: MSG Meteorites
Two sides of a 19.7-g slice of Northwest Africa 14729. Note the large clast sizes. Photo credit: Craig Zlimen
A 19-cm-wide slice of NWA 14729. If the photos here are actually all of the same rock, then they demonstrate how differences in surface preparation and lighting can affect a rock’s appearance. Photo credit: Heritage Auctions.

from The Meteoritical Bulletin, No. 111

Northwest Africa 14729 (NWA 14729)

(Northwestern Africa)
Purchased: 2021
Mass: 2300 g (1 piece)

Lunar meteorite (melt breccia)

History: Purchased from a Moroccan meteorite dealer in 2021.

Physical Characteristics: Single stone, dark green-brown, sandblasted exterior. Sawcut surfaces reveal this meteorite to be a breccia with fragments of fine-grained light colored host rock set darker vesicular melt-rock matrix.

Petrography: (C. Agee, UNM) Electron microprobe analysis and reflected microscopy of a polished mount show this meteorite to be a polymict lunar melt breccia with an anorthositic troctolite host rock consisting of fine-grained olivine and lesser amounts of pyroxene poikilitically enclosed in plagioclase. The matrix consists of vesicular melt rock. and very fine-grained minerals and rock clasts. Trace amounts of chromite, ilmenite, troilite, and Fe-metal (low Ni) were detected.

Geochemistry: (A. Ross, UNM) Olivine Fa25.4±5.3, Fe/Mn=102±18, n=10; pigeonite Fs16.4±3.6Wo4.5±1.5, Fe/Mn=54±5, n=7; subcalcic augite Fs16.1±5.1Wo30.1±7.7, Fe/Mn=50±2, n=3; plagioclase An96.0±1.7, n=6.

Classification: Lunar (polymict anorthositic troctolite melt breccia), nomenclature based on Stoeffler et al. (1980). The Mg# of olivine and An-content of plagioclase of this meteorite are consistent with that of the Apollo Lunar Mg-suite (Warren, 1993).

Specimens: 27.6 g on deposit at UNM, Craig Zlimen and Mark Lyon hold the main mass.

Randy Says…

I have not studied Northwest Africa 14729.

More Information

Meteoritical Bulletin Database

NWA 14729


Stöffler D., Knöll H.-D., Marvin U. B., Simonds C. H., and Warren P. H. (1980) Recommended classification and nomenclature of lunar highlands rocks-a committee report. In Proceedings Conf. Lunar Highlands Crust (eds. J. J. Papike and R. B. Merrill), 51-70, Pergamon Press.

Warren P. H. (1993) A concise compilation of petrologic information on possibly pristine nonmare Moon rocks. American Mineralogist 78, 360-376.