Spectroscopic and Petrographic Investigations of Lunar Mg-Suite Meteorite Northwest Africa 8687OPEN ACCESS 

Lang Qin, Xing Wu, Liying Huang, Yang Liu and Yongliao Zou

Remote Sens. 2022, 14(12), 2952


“Magnesian suite (Mg-suite) rocks represent plutonic materials from the lunar crust, and their global distribution can provide critical information for the early magmatic differentiation and crustal asymmetries of the Moon. Visible and near-infrared (VNIR) spectrometers mounted on orbiters and rovers have been proven to be powerful approaches for planetary mineral mapping, which are instrumental in diagnosing Mg-suite rocks. However, due to the scarcity and diversity of Mg-suite samples, laboratory measurements with variable proportions of minerals are imperative for spectral characterization. In this study, spectroscopic investigation and petrographic study were conducted on lunar Mg-suite meteorite Northwest Africa 8687. We classify the sample as a pink spinel-bearing anorthositic norite through spectral and petrographic characteristics. The ground-truth information of the Mg-suite rock is provided for future exploration. Meanwhile, the results imply that the VNIR technique has the potential to identify highland rock types by mineral modal abundance and could further be applied in extraterrestrial samples for primary examination due to its advantage of being fast and non-destructive. “