Geochemical Characterization of the NWA 11273 Lunar Meteorite Using Nondestructive Analytical Techniques: Original, Shocked, and Alteration Mineral Phases

Jennifer Huidobro, Julene Aramendia, Gorka Arana, Juan Manuel Madariaga

ACS Earth and Space Chemistry
Publication Date: May 27, 2021


“A lunar feldspathic breccia meteorite, the Northwest Africa (NWA) 11273, was analyzed to compensate the lack of scientific data available about its mineralogy and geochemistry. In order to obtain a deeper characterization of the sample, a strategy based on the combination of nondestructive spectroscopic techniques such as X-ray fluorescence and Raman spectroscopy is used. Both techniques are being used in spatial missions by the Perseverance Rover, so their combination in the laboratory is here proposed as an optimal strategy to study the complete mineralogy of the sample. In addition to finding the minerals indicated by the Meteoritical Society (anorthite, olivine, pyroxene, kamacite, and troilite), other minor minerals were identified, such as zircon and ilmenite, which are minerals related to the Moon geology, as well as calcite and sulfate which can be considered products of terrestrial weathering. Finally, secondary minerals related to alteration processes were also found, such as hematite, quartz, and anatase. In this work, the alteration processes that gave rise to the detected secondary minerals have been proposed.”