NWA 5000 Lunar Meteorite Colloidals

Northwest Africa 5000 is the largest meteorite from the ancient Lunar Highlands ever found. It is exceedingly important in that it represents a previously unexplored part of the Moon and is the only Highlands Gabbro available for study. Originally, it weighed a tremendous 25 lbs 6.6 oz. (11,528 grams). Although the weight is very impressive, its presence is awe-inspiring. When trying to portray Northwest Africa 5000, one may be at a loss for words -- it is simply too beautiful to properly describe.

The contrast is incredible. The matrix looks like a black and white intaglio print of the universe rendered by a spirited yet masterful artist. This stone contains breccias within breccias, and the preferential orientation of clasts lends a unique 3-D appearance to flat surfaces. A generous amount of 4.5 billion year old gleaming metal is present, adding yet another striking element to nature's artwork. The exterior presentation is outstanding with well-preserved regmaglypts ("thumb-printing" marks from atmospheric entry), areas of translucent fusion crust and attractive desert patina. Northwest Africa 5000 has become legendary in the short period of time since its discovery in 2007.

Item used for electrolysis is a 0.06g partial slice of NWA 5000 lunar meteorite:

This is an OFFICIAL meteorite name.
Abbreviation: NWA 5000
Observed fall: No
Year found: 2007
Country: Morocco
Mass: 11.53 kg

Geochemistry: Gabbro clasts: plagioclase (An96.1-98.0Or<0.1), pigeonite (Fs32.0-64.5Wo6.7-13.1; FeO/MnO = 51.1-62.0), olivine in different clasts range from Fa23.9-24.2, Fa40.4 to Fa58.8 (with FeO/MnO = 81-100), chromite [(Cr/(Cr + Al) = 0.737, Mg/(Mg + Fe) = 0.231, TiO2 = 5.9 wt%], ilmenite (4.1 wt% MgO). Bulk composition: (R. Korotev, WUSL) INAA of 6 subsamples gave mean values of 5.3 wt% FeO and 0.4 ppm Th.

Lunar Meteorites

A lunar meteorite is a meteorite that is known to have originated on the Moon. A meteorite hitting the Moon is normally classified as a transient lunar phenomenon.

Transfer to Earth

Most lunar meteorites are launched from the Moon by impacts making lunar craters of a few kilometers in diameter or less. No source crater of lunar meteorites has been positively identified, although there is speculation that the highly anomalous lunar meteorite Sayh al Uhaymir 169 derives from the Lalande impact crater on the lunar nearside.

Cosmic ray exposure history established with noble gas measurements have shown that all lunar meteorites were ejected from the Moon in the past 20 million years. Most left the Moon in the past 100,000 years. After leaving the Moon, most lunar meteoroids go into orbit around Earth and eventually succumb to Earth's gravity. Some meteoroids ejected from the Moon get launched into orbits around the sun. These meteoroids remain in space longer but eventually intersect the Earth's orbit and land.

Scientific relevance

All six of the Apollo missions on which samples were collected landed in the central nearside of the Moon, an area that has subsequently been shown to be geochemically anomalous by the Lunar Prospector mission. In contrast, the numerous lunar meteorites are random samples of the Moon and consequently provide a more representative sampling of the lunar surface than the Apollo samples. Half the lunar meteorites, for example, likely sample material from the farside of the Moon.


Today, about one in every thousand newly discovered meteorites is a lunar meteorite, whereas the vast majority of meteorites are from the asteroid belt. In the early 19th century most scientists believed that all meteorites were from the Moon. Although today supported only by a minority of researchers, there are also theories that tektites are from the Moon and should therefore also be regarded as lunar meteorites. However, most scientists regard such theories as outdated.

Private ownership

Lunar meteorites collected in Africa and Oman are, for all practical purposes, the only source of moon rocks available for private ownership. This is because all rocks collected during the Apollo moon-landing program are property of the United States government or of other nations to which the U.S. conveyed them as gifts. Similarly, all lunar meteorites collected by the U.S. and Japanese Antarctic programs are, by treaty, held by those governments for research and education purposes only. Although there is no U.S. law specifically against the ownership of Apollo moonrocks, none has ever been (or is likely to ever be) given or sold by the U.S. government to private citizens.


NWA 5000 Lunar Meteorite Colloidals

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