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Moon Rock (NWA 7986): Lunar Meteorites are among the most popular and sought-after meteorites, the total weight of lunar meteorites ever found is incredibly low compared to usual meteorites. NWA 7986 is classified as a feldspathic granulitic breccia, similar samples of which had been recovered at most Apollo lunar highland sites.
Mars Rock (NWA 6963): Like Moon Meteorites these Martian Meteorites are among the most sought-after and rarest on the market. Our newly classified Martian meteorites, much to the collector’s delight, belong to the most aesthetic and freshest shergottites, which ever were made available. The designation for this particular mars rock is 'NWA 6963'.
Shergottites are pieces of the crustal mantle of the planet Mars that were blown into orbit by an enormous meteorite impact hitting the red planet. After this impact, this meteorite travelled through space before it was eventually brought down to Earth by the Earth's gravitational pull.
Physical characteristics: A single, broken, irregular conical stone (606g) partially covered by translucent, pale greenish fusion crust and with a pale grey-brown interior.
Petrography: (A. Irving and S. Kuehner, UWS) Abundant partly devitrified, glassy matrix (with "swirly" texture) containing embedded small mineral and lithic clasts. Minerals are olivine, orthopyroxene, pigeonite, augite, anorthite, ilmenite, troilite and minor kamacite.
Geochemistry: Olivine (Fa33.4-34.5, FeO/MnO = 83-96), orthopyroxene (Fs34.7Wo2.3, FeO/MnO = 53), pigeonite (Fs25.8Wo6.3, FeO/MnO = 53), augite (Fs14.5Wo41.7; Fs33.5Wo39.5, FeO/MnO = 38-68), anorthite (An96.2-98.5Or0.1). Bulk composition (R. Korotev, WUSL): INAA of subsamples gave mean abundances of FeO 5.6 wt.%, and (in ppm) Sc 31, La 13.2, Sm 6.2, Eu 1.39, Yb 4.0, Th 1.9.
Classification: Lunar (feldspathic vitric breccia). On the basis of mineralogy, texture and bulk composition, this specimen is paired with NWA 4936, NWA 5406, NWA 6221, NWA 6355, NWA 6470, NWA 6570 and NWA 7190.
History: (H. Chennaoui Aoudjehane, FSAC) In mid-May, 2012, the NWA 6963 locality, near the river Oued Touflit, became widely known and hundreds of meteorite hunters went to the area searching for more pieces. Pieces ranging from 100 to 700 g have been recovered, as well as a few small pieces (3-10 g), most of them are broken and partially covered by a thin fusion crust. The total mass may be as much as 8-10 kg.
Physical Characteristics: The original recovered material was a shiny, dark, 83 g fusion-crusted stone in three pieces. Minimal weathering. Interior shows abundant maskelynite and shock melt vein.
Petrography: (C. Agee, UNM) Microprobe examination of a polished epoxy mount shows 60% pyroxene, 35% maskelynite, 2% ulvöspinel, 2% melt pockets with silica, minor merrillite, trace chlorapatite and pyrrhotite. Pyroxenes show core-to-rim zonation. Pyroxene grains 200 μm to >1 mm, maskelynite domains 50 μm to >1 mm.
Geochemistry: (C. Agee and N. Wilson, UNM) Two distinct pyroxene compositional trends. Pigeonite Fs29Wo11En59 to Fs58Wo16En26, average: Fs39.7±7.7 Wo13.0±2.3 Fe/Mn=33±3 N=108. Augite Fs21Wo34En45 to Fs39Wo31En30, average: Fs28.1±6.2Wo31.6±1.9 Fe/Mn=31±3 N=24. Maskelynite Or2.3±0.7Ab48.3±2.1An49.4±2.6 N=9. Oxygen isotopes (Z. Sharp, UNM): δ18O=4.332; δ17O=2.528; Δ17O=+0.241 (all per mil).
Classification: Achondrite (Martian, shergottite); minimal weathering, high shock grade based on complete transformation of plagioclase to maskelynite. Pyroxene compositional trends are similar, but not identical to Shergotty.
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