Glazed Lunar Rocks: Origin by Impact

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Science  07 May 1971:
Vol. 172, Issue 3983, pp. 556-558
DOI: 10.1126/science.172.3983.556


The glassy coating of lunar rock 12017 is enriched in 15 trace elements relative to the crystalline interior. It apparently consists chiefly of shock-melted rock, somewhat richer in rare earth elements and alkali metals than rock 12017 itself. The glass has been contaminated by about 0.5 percent carbonaceous-chondrite-like material or, alternatively, by a mixture of 0.06 to 0.3 percent fractionated meteoritic material and approximately 10 to 15 percent local soil. The glazing seems to represent molten material splashed from a nearby meteorite impact and not in situ melting by a sudden increase in solar luminosity.