ArticlesGeneral Mineralogy

Petrologic History of Moon Suggested by Petrography, Mineralogy, and Crystallography

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Science  30 Jan 1970:
Vol. 167, Issue 3918, pp. 587-590
DOI: 10.1126/science.167.3918.587


Opaque mineral compositions indicate that the fugacity of oxygen is approximately 10-13 (earth basalts, 10-10). Experiments under reducing conditions suggest that the crystallization range is approximately 1140° to 1070°C. Iron-rich pyroxmangite, fayalite, and hedenbergite occur in microgabbro. Ferropseudobrookite rimmed by ilmenite containing rutile and Cr-spinel lamellae occurs in ferrobasalt. Plagioclase vitrophyres in breccia can explain highland Surveyor VII analysis. We suggest crystal-liquid differentiation of out-gassed convecting moon with growing Fe-rich core, olivine-pyroxene mantle, plagioclase-rich dynamic crust underlain by nonspherical, inversely stratified ferrobasalt. Impact-breaking or convection-thrusting of crust releases fraction rich in Fe and Ti. Scanning electron microscopy of glass balls reveals minute depressions consistent with micrometeorite impact.