This captivatingly shaped Moon rock benefitted from its residency in the Sahara Desert where it was sandblasted over a period of many decades. The highly textured surface exhibits numerous fine crenellations and tiny sockets and hollows. The aesthetic layered rippling and tapered edges seen evoke the texture of the terrestrial basalts placed in Japanese Gardens. Accented in earthtones, the graphite-hued surface of this specimen also possesses a waxy desert varnish—another artifact from its exposure to the Saharan elements. This is a superior modestly-sized piece of the Moon.
80 x 69 x 43 mm. (3 x 2.75 x 1.66 in.)
197.7 g. (0.4 lbs.)
The Moon is among the rarest substances on Earth, and now offered is a complete lunar meteorite. NWA 10495 is a relatively fine-grained fragmental breccia composed of anorthite, pigeonite, olivine, augite, Ti-chromite and troilite set in a finer-grained matrix. It was part of a larger mass that was blasted off the lunar surface following an asteroid impact. There are less than 600 kg of lunar meteorites known to exist and a significant fraction is controlled by governmental institutions. Moon rocks are identified by specific textural, mineralogical, chemical and isotopic signatures. Many of the common minerals found on Earth’s surface are rare or absent on the Moon and some lunar minerals are unknown on Earth. In addition, Moon rocks contain gases captured from the solar wind with isotope ratios very different from the same gases found on Earth. NWA 10495 is the 10,495th rock recovered in the Northwest African grid of the Sahara Desert to be analyzed and classified. If this meteorite were cut, we would see the classic, signature look of a lunar breccia featuring grains of anorthite (a white calcium-aluminum silicate mineral present in most Moon rocks) set against a dark matrix. Many lunar samples conveyed to Earth by the Apollo missions are very similar to suspected lunar meteorites— and such is the case with the Moon rock now offered.
The official classification and publication of this meteorite was performed by Dr. Anthony Irving, the world’s foremost expert in the classification of lunar and Martian meteorites and appears in the 105th edition of the Meteoritical Bulletin.
Please note this lot is the property of a private individual.
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