77215 (142) Cataclastic Norite
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Fact sheet

77215 (142) Cataclastic Norite

77215 is probably a brecciated pigeonite-anorthite cumulate, but the small size of the remnant lithic clasts prevents any certain determination of cumulate origin. The pigeonite has inverted to orthopyroxene with augite exsolution. The presence of undevitrified noritic glass in 77215 is significant to understanding its thermal history. 77215 broke up into many pieces on the way back from the moon. Some pieces have small areas of unbrecciated norite with primary igneous texture. However, most of the lithic clasts in 77215 have been intensely granulated or smeared out to form schlieren, so that the relict host rock(s) are only represented by very small clasts. 77215 is approximately 41% orthopyroxene and 54% plagioclase with trace amounts of troilite, metallic iron, ilmenite, clinopyroxene, spinel, silica, K-feldspar, and other trace phases.

The sample weighed 846.4 grams before analysis and has been dated at 3.96±0.03 billion years (Ar/Ar).

Further details of this and other Apollo samples are here: http://curator.jsc.nasa.gov/lunar/

About this collection

Apollo 17, the final manned landing mission, had two objectives: to obtain samples of ancient rocks from the lunar highlands and to look for evidence of younger volcanic activity on the valley floor.

This small Collection contains material deriving from both periods, including igneous rocks around 4.3 billion years old from the lunar highlands as well as younger volcanic samples dating from about 3.6 billion years ago.

Apollo 17 was launched on 7 December 1972.

Sample details

Collection: Apollo 17
Rock-forming mineral
Accessory minerals
metallic iron
Category guide  
Category Guide
Refers to any word or phrase that appears in the individual rock names. Names are generally descriptive; they allow users to search for broad terms like ‘granite’ as well as more specific names such as ‘breccia’. However, the adjacent descriptions of the specimens captures a wider range of general words and phrases and is a more powerful search tool.
Refers to any word or phrase that appears anywhere in the descriptions of the specimens
Accessory minerals
Minerals that occur in very low abundance in a rock. They are usually not visible with the naked eye and contribute perhapssver, they often dominate the rare elements such as platinum group metals.
Rock-forming minerals
Minerals that make up the bulk of all rock samples and are also the ones used in rock classi?cation.
Selecting one or more period, for example 'Jurassic'.
A term used to group together related samples that are not already gathered into a single Collection. For instance, there is a ‘SW England granites’ theme that includes such rock types as granite, hydrothermal breccia, skarn and vein samples.
A general term used to label a rock sample. It is a useful way of grouping similar samples throughout a collection. Category names are often, but not exclusively, common rock names (e.g. granite, basalt, dolerite, gabbro, greisen, skarn, gneiss, amphibolite, limestone, sandstone).
The owner of the sample that appears in the collection. For example, NASA owns all the samples that appear in the Moon Rocks collection
We would like to thank the following for the use of this sample: