ArticlesGeneral Mineralogy

Electron Microprobe Analysis of Lunar Samples

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Science  30 Jan 1970:
Vol. 167, Issue 3918, pp. 590-592
DOI: 10.1126/science.167.3918.590


Plagioclase feldspar, clinopyroxene, and ilmenite in a polished thin section of a type A crystalline rock were analyzed. The clinopyroxene grains are compositionally variable, and both high Ca and low Ca phases are present. The plagioclase is compositionally homogeneous. The ilmenite is chemically homogeneous except for occasional, small areas of high local chromium concentration. Accessory minerals are: apatite (containing Cl, F, Y, and Ce), troilite, and metallic iron. Glassy spherules from the lunar soil are for the most part similar in composition to the crystalline rocks; however, some appear to have been monomineralic. The crystalline rock has apparently formed by relatively rapid cooling of a silicate melt under conditions of low oxygen partial pressure. Many components of the soil appear to have formed by meteoritic impact.

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