Lunar Meteorite: Northwest Africa 15343

Two views of a 31-g stone of Northwest Africa 15343. I emphasis elsewhere that rocks with holes are probably not meteorites, but this one has been seriously weathered and sand-blasted. The fusion crust is gone and the holes are probably result from differential weathering, perhaps of clasts in the glassy melt breccia. This rock has likely been exposed at the surface for thousands if not tens of thousands of years – long enough to break a larger rock into “56 pieces.” Photo credit: Heritage Auctions

from The Meteoritical Bulletin, No. 111

Northwest Africa 15343 (NWA 15343)

(Northwestern Africa)
Find: 2021
Mass: 4016 g (56 pieces)

Lunar meteorite

History: Found by a nomad in summer 2021 near Hassi L’Hajar, which is approximatively 90 km from Ouargla, Algeria. Purchased by Stone gallery (The Netherlands), Michel van den Dries (Belgium) and anonymous in 2022. Several 5 to 30 g stones of the lot (totaling 493 g) were sold to another unknown buyer.

Physical Characteristics: The stones (from 7.2 to 783 g) have a dark brown and shiny, sand-blasted surface. The cut surface of the type specimen reveals a melt breccia with numerous <1 mm clasts embedded within a dark matrix. It appears fresh, with visible metal grains.

Petrography: (A. Bouvier, UBayr) Breccia consisting of a dark glassy matrix containing abundant sub-millimeter lithic clasts, which are mostly mineral fragments (olivine, pyroxene, plagioclase) as well as rarer mafic clasts (norite) found in the polished section. Fe-Ni metal, troilite, Cr-spinel, and chromite are also present.

Geochemistry: Olivine Fa29.2±4.8 with Fe/Mn=94±13 (n=18); Low-Ca pyroxene Fs18.0Wo3.4 (n=1); Pigeonite Fs32.5±4.4Wo13.3±5.7, Fe/Mn=51.2±4.6 (n=6); high-Ca pyroxene Fs21.4±10.0Wo39.1±3.0, Fe/Mn=53.4±4.3 (n=3); Plagioclase An96.5±1.1Or0.1±0.1 (n=23).

Classification: Lunar  (melt breccia)

Specimens: 42.2 g including a polished mount at UBayr. Main mass (786 g) with Stone gallery (The Netherlands), other smaller masses with Stone gallery (The Netherlands), Michel van den Dries (Belgium) and anonymous.

Randy Says…

I have not studied Northwest Africa 15343.

More Information

Meteoritical Bulletin Database

NWA 15343