ArticlesSpecial Mineral Studies

Opaque Minerals in Lunar Samples

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Science  30 Jan 1970:
Vol. 167, Issue 3918, pp. 623-625
DOI: 10.1126/science.167.3918.623


Microscope study and electron microprobe analysis of lunar rocks and soil show that ilmenite, troilite, and native iron are accompanied by trace amounts of ulvöspinel, titanochromite (new mineral name), an unidentified Ti-Fe oxide, and a complex Zr-Y silicate. The assemblage requires a strongly reducing environment. Textures and modal proportions show that the rocks present are not a differentiation series. The restricted nature of the opaque mineral assemblage suggests a narrow range of composition for the materials from which the parent liquids of the rocks were generated. Textural variety mnust reflect differences in cooling rates, probably related to depths of formation.

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