Graphite in an Apollo 17 Impact Melt Breccia

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Science  02 Jul 2010:
Vol. 329, Issue 5987, pp. 51
DOI: 10.1126/science.1190541

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We report on the detection of discrete grains of crystalline graphite and graphite whiskers (GWs) in an Apollo 17 impact melt breccia. Multiple instances of graphite and GWs within a discrete area of the sample imply that these grains are not terrestrial contamination. Both graphite and GWs are indicative of high-temperature conditions and are probably the result of the impact processes responsible for breccia formation. This suggests that impact processes may be an additional formation mechanism for GWs in the solar system and indicates that the Moon contains a record of ancient carbonaceous material delivered at the time of the Late Heavy Bombardment.

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