ArticlesAbundance of Major Elements

Inert Gases in Lunar Samples

Science  30 Jan 1970:
Vol. 167, Issue 3918, pp. 555-558
DOI: 10.1126/science.167.3918.555


Sample 10084,40 (fines, less than 1 millimeter) contains substantial amounts of the inert gases. Their concentrations are inversely proportional to particle size; hence the gases appear to be surface-correlated in the soil fragments. The most likely origin of the gas is solar wind or solar cosmic rays. Glass and feldspar are generally poorer in gas than lithic fragments. Ratios of elements in the sample differ significantly from solar values. Ratios of isotopes in the sample are similar to those in meteorites. Argon-40 appears to consist of a radiogenic and a surface-correlated component. An apparent potassium-argon age of 4.42+0.24-0.28 billion years is calculated.