Got my Moon Rock

Posted February 26th, 2009 by admin

I arrived a bit earlier than I had anticipated but still not early enough to go to the APEX talk which was a shame. I met Hillary, Andy and an Undergraduate who is going to do another meteorite project.

We then went down to the planetary Suite to meet up with Katie who has the sample of moon rock I will be analysing. She unlocked her draw and handed me a little plastic see through box – inside on a glass(might be resin) circular mount was a thin sort of traingulish shaped sliver.

This is the piece of moon rock I get to prod and poke in detail and I was being silly thunder struck and over awed by it. I remebered when Katie got her samples and way back before I was sick – I was at the museum and was promptly turffed off of the microscope I was using so that she could have a look at her new samples!

Now she is letting me play with one of her samples (they actually belong to NASA). I then got the lecture about it not being allowed out of the department and about it needing to be locked up etc… which is what I had expected.

Katie then showed me the elemental maps she’d made of the whole slide – there are two clasts of interest and I’m going to have to decide which one to examine in depth.

It is from a meteorite find and so there is terrestrial contamination – it is also from a highly unusual part of the moon – this is where I found out somehting really interesting:

The Apollo samples where all returned from a relatively small area all of which happens to be either in this unusual province or borders it and so has clasts erroded down from it. This means that becuase the first lunar meteorites were found after the Apollo missions we as a scientific communitee had not realised this and have skewed all our musings on lunar geology to try and fit something that is unusual and not the typical lunar geology.

I am very excited about this and have come away with a huge wodge of reading :) Next time I go back will be to make X-ray maps of which ever of the two clasts I choose.

The sample needs a new carbon coat and a piece of resin is in the corner so I got to remove the carbon coat with metal polish – we will re-carbon coat it next time I’m in. This also ment that I got to have a gander at it under the reflective light microscope which was cool :)

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