I bought a piece of the MOON!

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Apollo XX
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I bought a piece of the MOON!

Unread post by Apollo XX »

No, not a plot of land marketed by the shysters at https://lunarregistry.com/ Even I know better than to blow over a hundred bucks an acre sight-unseen. Maybe after I've gone and looked at it.

But seriously, as a subscriber to Astronomy Magazine I get about a thousand emails a day, all trying to convince me to buy some astronomy related product from a variety of places. Recently I got one that said I could buy a piece of a lunar meteorite. I'm a Moon enthusiast, so I did.

Lunar Meteorite NWA 11182.jpg
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Behold, Lunar Meteorite NWA 11182. She ain't much at first glance, but it was a helluva lot easier to get a hold of than a rock brought back by one of the Apollo missions. https://curator.jsc.nasa.gov/lunar/samp ... f_2012.pdf Those NASA fellows get pretty uptight about the whereabouts of their rocks. You can't just drop in, and say, borrow one. Saying "I just want to hold it and maybe take a picture of it" isn't going to cut it. I stopped reading at "3.0 LUNAR SAMPLE ACCOUNTABILITY AND SECURITY."

Things got a lot more interesting with my personal lunar sample when I started investigating it. According to the details on the official website for all things meteorites, it came to earth not via a multi-billion dollar space mission, but rather got here all on its own and landed rather randomly somewhere in Northwest Africa. https://www.lpi.usra.edu/meteor/metbull ... code=65063

As you can see my piece of the Moon is rather small, but the parent rock that it was taken from wasn't all that big to begin with. The mass of the rock that was found in Africa totaled 60 grams, or just a little over two ounces. My .15 gram sample might not seem like much, but hey .25% of the whole isn't too bad. It's more than any of my CD's made over the last 20 years. Try getting even a speck of dust out of those folks at NASA! I don't think so!

LunMet_1R.png
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LunMet_2R.png
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LunMet_3R.png
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Placing my sample under a simple USB microscope made it even cooler. At several powers of magnification all kinds of cool structure was revealed. I'm no rock scientist, but some of those colorful inclusions must be what the words FELDSPATHIC BRECCIA are referring to.

Anyway, this is my first foray into the fun and exciting world of meteorite collecting. Now how to get the wife to let go of those purse strings...

Keep Looking Up!

Mike M.
"The purpose of life is the investigation of the Sun, the Moon, and the heavens." - Anaxagoras
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AstroGeek
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Re: I bought a piece of the MOON!

Unread post by AstroGeek »

Congratulations Mike,

You are now a Lunar Landlord!!

I bought a sample, also. Same Northwest Africa region, but I don't know what the number designation means.

Here's a post from nearly a year ago.

viewtopic.php?f=26&t=6902&p=53063&hilit ... ite#p53063

Steve
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Apollo XX
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Re: I bought a piece of the MOON!

Unread post by Apollo XX »

Hahaha, Steve! With the size of that piece you could become a lunar land baron! Awesome!

Mike
"The purpose of life is the investigation of the Sun, the Moon, and the heavens." - Anaxagoras
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AstroGeek
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Re: I bought a piece of the MOON!

Unread post by AstroGeek »

Mike,

I was so enamored by that piece of the moon, that I went out in search of a larger chunk.


D4C8E7A9-C82F-430C-94C3-EAA3C506282B.JPG
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Steve L
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Re: I bought a piece of the MOON!

Unread post by daedalus1 »

You guys are the best! An actual piece of regolith! I had no idea such things were actually available for purchase. Very cool, indeed!
Tony T.

Evostar 150mm ED refractor, F1200mm

And a woman is only a woman, but a good cigar is a smoke!
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Paul D
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Re: I bought a piece of the MOON!

Unread post by Paul D »

Hey, can anyone join this club or do you need a special invite or secret code?

Moon.jpg
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Moon1.jpg
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Here is the registry information for NWA 5000
https://www.lpi.usra.edu/meteor/metbull ... code=45986
Moon2.jpg
Moon2.jpg (131.69 KiB) Viewed 138 times
Here is the registry information for NWA 11266
https://www.lpi.usra.edu/meteor/metbull ... code=65627
Paul...

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10" f/5 Home built Dob with Parks mirror.
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See that 16" in the sleek black dress? She is all mine. :)
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Pete
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Re: I bought a piece of the MOON!

Unread post by Pete »

Well, my professional astronomer daughter-in-law gifted me with this tiny sample some years ago.
lunar 1.JPG
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Lunar 2.JPG
Lunar 2.JPG (77.3 KiB) Viewed 129 times
This is a tiny sample measuring roughly 1/8" on its longest axis. Is that big enough to qualify me as a member of the Piece Of The Moon Club?
Pete P.
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Apollo XX
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Re: I bought a piece of the MOON!

Unread post by Apollo XX »

Hahaha...if this keeps up we'll be able to build a lunar rock garden!

But seriously this situation begs a big question...WHY IS NORTHWEST AFRICA SO PROMINENTLY FEATURED IN METEORITE FINDS???

Curious minds want to know!
"The purpose of life is the investigation of the Sun, the Moon, and the heavens." - Anaxagoras
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Paul D
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Re: I bought a piece of the MOON!

Unread post by Paul D »

Very good question Mike, and I may have the answer. It is simply that Africa's climate is a great place for a meteor to fall. There is very little weather in the areas where the meteorites are falling so iron meteorites don't rust and stony meteorites don't erode. The two most common places that meteorites are found is Antartica and Africa. All other parts of the world are detrimental to meteorites because of either weather or they fall in dense forest or deserts where they are buried.

About the only other place where meteorites are found frequently is Arizonia, again the land is perfect to find them, very little weather change to bury, rust or erode meteorites. In all of these areas the meteorites stick out like sore thumbs against the normal backdrop of the land. There are probably a ton of meteorites that we simply walk by each and every day and not know that they are meteorites. Case in point the Barnstable Mass meteorite. Here is a picture of a discovered piece. As you can see it looks like a normal rock that anyone would walk by without giving it a second look. The only feature that made this suspect and discovered that it was a large rock sitting in the middle of a pine forest where there were no other large rocks on the surface of the ground.

Hope this answer clarifies why meteorites are found more frequently in some areas over other areas of the world. There are other minor factors to consider like land mass and political borders that will make meteorites either more or less difficult to find.
127427_IMG_0051.jpg
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Barnstable.jpg
Barnstable.jpg (29.63 KiB) Viewed 121 times
Paul...

16" f/5 Night Sky Truss (Midnight Mistress)
10" f/5 Home built Dob with Parks mirror.
Pre-Meade PST
Celestron Skymaster Binos 25-125x80
Meade Travelview Binos 10x50

See that 16" in the sleek black dress? She is all mine. :)
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Apollo XX
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Re: I bought a piece of the MOON!

Unread post by Apollo XX »

Thanks, Paul! That explains a lot. But it has also just created a lifetime of work for me. Now I have to check Every. Single. Rock. I encounter a lot of rocks in my daily travels. Ahh, New England. :lol:
"The purpose of life is the investigation of the Sun, the Moon, and the heavens." - Anaxagoras
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