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Lunar Meteorites


THE LUNAR METEORITES



The formation of our satellite, the Moon, has always been the subject of debates and theories, so fierce at times, that it was not until 1969 that humans came to it and brought samples of its surface, we did not begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

And so it was that after the arrival of the more than 380 kilos of rocks collected on the surface of the Moon by the crew of the Apollo missions, scientific interest in their research has grown, and this has allowed us to unravel interesting mysteries, including the of the existence of a group of strange meteorites whose origin was, until then, unknown. It was finally revealed that they were lunar meteorites.

Due to its proximity to our planet and the size of the Moon, we suspect that the largest number of meteorites that arrived on our planet come from said satellite, but the fact that they are materials that are very similar to terrestrial ones and their high speed of integration into the ground, they make them rare to find, and this has positioned them as true gems for science and collectors.

The lunar meteorites are, together with the Apollo and Lunik samples, the main source of scientific and geological information that we have about the satellite, and through them we have revealed not only the origin and formation, but the evolution of the Moon and its importance. for our planet.



Since then, the investigation of lunar meteorites has allowed us to discover textures, compositions, anomalies, and many chemical and structural details formed in their particular environment. Practically all types of meteorites have also been identified among the samples from space missions, and this point is interesting because we have a large amount of lunar materials in the form of meteorites that allow us to carry out in-depth investigations.

BRECCIAS AND BASALTS.

When we look at the Moon one night during its full phase, we can clearly perceive two well differentiated regions, a bright and white part, which we call Highlands, and another dark area that we call Seas. The Lunar Highlands are pristine, their radiometric ages place them at the very origins of the Solar System, while the seas are younger lands formed from basaltic lava flows arising from the interior of the satellite.

Over the millions of years, the geology of the lunar surface has been profoundly altered by the collision of asteroids and micrometeorites, which have turned the bedrock into a thick layer of crushed materials we call Regolith.

Large impacts on this regolith produced the compaction of its materials and ejected them into outer space in the form of Brechas.


Lunar Breccias are compact rocks, as their name suggests, brecciated, composed of broken anorthosite clasts in a feldspathic matrix, in which we can also find other components such as vitreous spherules, basaltic or gabbroic clasts, troctolytic, or even exterior asteroidal contaminants, such as metallic iron, sulphides or eucritic clasts.

     They are rocks present great complexity in their study, precisely due to the multiplicity of components and their particular geological histories. But they are authentic history books that reveal the transformation the Moon has undergone throughout its geological history.



For their part, the Basalts are rocks of volcanic origin, formed from lava flows and have revealed that their magmatic sources are different, thus producing basalts rich in titanium, and poor in titanium. This particularity also influences the size of the grain. Basalt or lunar grabro type meteorites are very rare materials, and really coveted by collectors.


The search for lunar meteorites in deserts is a real adventure, especially since they are full of stones that may perfectly look like moon rocks, and they are not. In this task of identifying lunar meteorites, the finders always have the support of laboratories and professionals who will shed the necessary light to identify them and certify the authentic ones.







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Welcome to Meteorites Lab

Petrographic Laboratory of Meteorites (LPMCM) is the heart of the Canary Museum of Meteorites, and therefore we work on the study and analysis of meteorite samples, and also preparation and conservation of astromaterials for scientists and collectors.

Quite often we receive notifications from people who believe they have found a meteorite, and turn to us for study. For this reason, this center has a Research protocol to which they can receive their samples for study, certification and classification of astromaterials.

Then we leave the information regarding this research protocol and how to proceed to access the study of your samples.


On the pages of this website you will find all the information for the submission of samples to the laboratory.  If you need more information, do not hesitate to contact us.
laboratory@meteoriteslab.org