Moon rock or lunar rock is rock that is found on the Earth's moon including lunar material collected during the course of human exploration of the Moonor rock that has been ejected naturally from the Moon's surface and which has then landed on the Earth as meteorites.
Moon rocks on Earth come from three sources: The Soviet Union attempted, but failed make manned lunar landings in the s, due to failure to develop their N1 rocketbut they succeeded in landing three robotic Luna spacecraft with the capability to collect and return small samples to Earth.
A combined total of less than one kilogram of material was returned. Rocks from the Moon have been measured by radiometric dating techniques. They range in age from about 3. In contrast, the oldest ages of rocks from the Earth are between 3. Moon rocks fall into two main categories: The terrae consist dominantly of mafic plutonic rocks.
Regolith breccias with similar protoliths are also common. Mare basalts come in three distinct series in direct relation to their titanium content: Almost all lunar rocks are depleted in volatiles are completely lacking in hydrated minerals common in Earth rocks.
In some regards, lunar rocks are closely related to Earth's rocks in their isotopic composition of the element oxygen. The Apollo moon rocks were collected using a variety of tools, including hammersrakesscoopstongsand core tubes.
Most were photographed prior to collection to record the condition in which they were found. They were placed inside sample bags and then a Special Environmental Sample Container for return to the Earth to protect them from contamination.
In contrast to the Earth, large portions of the lunar crust appear to be composed of rocks with high concentrations of the mineral anorthite.
The mare basalts have relatively high iron values. Furthermore, some of the mare basalts have very high levels of titanium in the form of ilmenite. Primary igneous rocks in the lunar highlands compose three distinct groups: Lunar breccias, formed largely by the immense basin-forming impacts, are dominantly composed of highland lithologies because most mare basalts post-date basin formation and largely fill these impact basins.
Mare basalts are named as such because they frequently constitute large portions of the lunar maria.
They are similar to terrestrial basalts, but have many important differences; for example, mare basalts show a large negative europium anomaly. The type location is Mare Crisium sampled by Luna Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. Most of the rocks are stored in nitrogen to keep them free of moisture.
They are handled only indirectly, using special tools.
Moon rocks collected during the course of lunar exploration are currently considered priceless. Ina safe was stolen from the Lunar Sample Building that contained minute samples of lunar and Martian material. Naturally transported Moon rocks in the form of lunar meteorites are sold and traded among private collectors.
Apollo 17 astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt picked up a rock "composed Radiometric dating of moon rocks ohv many fragments, of many sizes, and many shapes, probably from all parts of the Moon". This rock was later labeled sample The fragments were presented encased in an acrylic sphere, mounted on a wood plaque which included the recipients' flag which had also Radiometric dating of moon rocks ohv aboard Apollo Three minerals were discovered from the Moon.
These include armalcolitetranquillityiteand pyroxferroite. Armalcolite was named for the three astronauts on the Apollo 11 mission: Arm strongAl drin and Col lins.
Because of their rarity on Earth, and the difficulty of obtaining more, Moon rocks have been frequent targets of theft and vandalismand many have gone missing or were stolen. Lunar Ferroan Anorthosite Plagioclase Feldspar. Sample collection case, containing collection bags for use on the surface, at the National Museum of Natural History. Cut fragment of Apollo 17 samplean impact melt breccia.
Samplebetter known as Big Muleythe largest sample collected during the Apollo program. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Moonrock. Geology of the Moon. Stolen and missing moon rocks. Samplethe Seatbelt basalt. Archived from the original on 25 August Retrieved 13 October A total of kilograms of lunar material, comprising individual specimens returned from the Moon, has been processed to meet scientific requirements into more thanindividually cataloged samples.
The drill was deployed and penetrated to a depth of 35 cm before encountering hard rock or large fragments of rock.
The column of regolith in the drill tube was then transferred to the soil sample container Retrieved 17 August Retrieved 30 March Archived from the original on Reviews in Mineralogy and Geochemistry. Retrieved 19 January Retrieved 29 December Explicit use of et al. September [First published ].
Apollo by the Numbers: Retrieved August 1, Category Moon portal Earth sciences portal Solar System portal. Retrieved from " https: All articles with unsourced statements Articles with unsourced statements from August Articles with unsourced statements from September All articles with self-published sources Articles with self-published sources from December Commons category link is on Wikidata Wikipedia articles with GND identifiers.
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