10044 - Ilmenite basalt
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Click the microscope button to view a thin section for this sample.

Fact sheet

10044 - Ilmenite basalt

10044 is a grey-white, medium- to coarse-grained ilmenite basalt that some authors have described as a microgabbro. Crystallisation age of the sample is 3.7 billion years. Its weigh is 248 grams. Mineralogically, 10044 consists of anhedral phenocrysts of pyroxene in a partially enclosing matrix of plagioclase feldspar and ilmenite. The pyroxene composition is variable with core to rim zoning from augite to the rare species pyroxferroite - a mineral first discovered in Apollo samples. Interstitial areas of the sample are filled with anhedral cristobalite, troilite containing iron blebs, K-rich glass and irregular-shaped vugs up to 0.3 mm. Accessory amounts of ulvospinel, apatite and an un-named Y-Zr mineral are also reported (tranquillityite?). The flowery growths around the sample (particularly visible in XPL) are artefacts caused by the interaction of solvent with the embedding resin.

Further details of this and other Apollo samples are here: http://curator.jsc.nasa.gov/lunar/

About this collection

The Apollo 11 samples create an iconic collection since they were the first rocks collected by humankind that were returned to Earth from another solar system body. The Apollo 11 team collected and returned 22 kg of rock and soil samples.

Apollo 11 launched from Cape Kennedy on 16 July 1969. An estimated 530 million people watched Armstrong's televised image and heard his voice describe the event as he took "...one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind" on 20 July 1969.

Sample details

Collection: Apollo 11
Rock-forming mineral
Accessory minerals
metallic iron
Category guide  
Category Guide
Refers to any word or phrase that appears in the individual rock names. Names are generally descriptive; they allow users to search for broad terms like ‘granite’ as well as more specific names such as ‘breccia’. However, the adjacent descriptions of the specimens captures a wider range of general words and phrases and is a more powerful search tool.
Refers to any word or phrase that appears anywhere in the descriptions of the specimens
Accessory minerals
Minerals that occur in very low abundance in a rock. They are usually not visible with the naked eye and contribute perhapssver, they often dominate the rare elements such as platinum group metals.
Rock-forming minerals
Minerals that make up the bulk of all rock samples and are also the ones used in rock classi?cation.
Selecting one or more period, for example 'Jurassic'.
A term used to group together related samples that are not already gathered into a single Collection. For instance, there is a ‘SW England granites’ theme that includes such rock types as granite, hydrothermal breccia, skarn and vein samples.
A general term used to label a rock sample. It is a useful way of grouping similar samples throughout a collection. Category names are often, but not exclusively, common rock names (e.g. granite, basalt, dolerite, gabbro, greisen, skarn, gneiss, amphibolite, limestone, sandstone).
The owner of the sample that appears in the collection. For example, NASA owns all the samples that appear in the Moon Rocks collection
We would like to thank the following for the use of this sample: