Lunar meteorite Yamato-983885: Noble gases, nitrogen and cosmic ray exposure history

Ramakant R. Mahajan

Planetary and Space Science
In Press, Accepted Manuscript, Available online 30 May 2015


We have investigated noble gases and nitrogen in lunar meteorite from antartcica: the polymict regolith breccias, Yamato-983885 (hereafter Y-983885). Y-983885 has highest concentration of trapped noble gases (Ar, Kr, Xe) among all the lunar meteorites and returned lunar samples. Noble gases and nitrogen abundances measured in two samples of the lunar meteorite Y-983885. The concentration of trapped noble gases in Y-983885 (A) are, 20Ne=3.69×10−3, 36Ar=12.6×10−4, 84kr=8.57×10−7 and 132Xe=1.63×10−7 ccSTP/g. The cosmic-ray exposure ages for Y-983885 are thus calculated to be T21 (A)=1592±232 Ma and T21 (B)=574±85 Ma for 2π geometry (using production rates as per Hohenberg et al., 1978). The exposure ages of sample A and B differ, indicating that they have undergone different exposure scenarios on the lunar surface. The different irradiation ages (T21 (A)=1592±232 Ma and T21 (B)=574±85 Ma) indicates that the regolith material which constitutes the meteorite Y983885 resided at different shielding depths on lunar surface before agglomeration into the final meteorite. The 20Ne/22Ne ratio of 13.60±0.01 in temperature step 400 °C of Y-983885 (A) demonstrate a clear retention of solar wind signature in this meteorite. The presence of high contents of trapped solar wind gases indicates that Y-983885 consists of mature lunar regolith material. Variable amounts of solar gases as well as cosmogenic noble gases indicate that Y-983885 (A and B) is compacted from several fragments that were exposed at the surface and/or at various depths in the regolith, before becoming part of Y-983885.