NWA 482 Partial Slice of Distinguished Lunar Meteorite
Lunar (impact melt breccia)
The Sahara Desert, near the Algerian/Moroccan border
Lunar samples are among the rarest naturally occurring substances on Earth. NWA (North West Africa) 482 is both the freshest (least weathered) and the only lunar meteorite available to the public whose matrix is off-white, all others are various shades of charcoal with the exception of terrestrially tinted samples (see lot 33). The white anorthositic inclusions seen in other lunar meteorites are the basis of this entire specimen. Noted scientists at the most respected research institutes in the world including the Institut für Planetologie in Münster and the Lunar & Planetary Institute in Houston have analyzed NWA 482, and NASA scientist Dr. Anthony Irving verified that NWA 482 matches Moon rock sample #60015, which was brought to Earth by Apollo 16 in 1972.
While Apollo missions recovered approximately 800 pounds of Moon rock, not one gram of this is available to the public. Nomadic Berbers in the Sahara near the Algeria/Morocco border recovered NWA 482 in 1999. Researchers determined that it is a crystalline impact-melt breccia that is believed to have originated from the surface of the ancient lunar highlands. Repeated impacts on the same spot of the lunar surface resulted in the crushing and remelting of material that is largely responsible for this meteorite's brecciated appearance. An impact event (in this case, an asteroid striking the Moon) ejected what became the NWA 482 mass off the lunar surface into space; a trip that ended millions of years later when the meteorite was captured by Earths gravitational field and fell in the Sahara. With one edge of fusion crust; this is a fine representation of an exceedingly rare lunar sample. The scientific abstract on NWA 482 is in the Meteoritical Bulletin and accompanies this specimen.
40 x 26 x1mm (1.5 x 1.0 x 0.05in) and 1.874 grams