Close up plane-polarised view of sample 15427 Green Glass Clods from the Apollo 15 mission

Fantastic Moon rock thin sections

We’re working with NASA to digitise the iconic Apollo Moon rock thin section samples and after a year we’ve managed around 120. They’re all now available in the Apollo lunar collections. This collection is different to all others on the site because we’ve split it into sub-collections, one for each mission. We’re on to Apollo 14 now. Already there are obvious differences resulting from where the missions landed, whereas 12 was ‘all about the basalts’, 14 is a ‘bucket of breccias’. Take a look at the landing sites and compare them to figure out why the rocks are so different.

Its proving to be a fascinating task and turning up lots of things we didn’t expect, including spotting phosphates in new samples and a gorgeous pink spinel clast in breccia 14316.

Some of the samples are pretty small and some are broken and some are a bit thick or thin, but when you only have very limited amounts of sample you take what you can get!

One of our colleagues at NASA pointed out our digitising work to astronaut Harrison "Jack" Schmitt the only geologist to go into the field and collect Moon rocks himself as a member of the Apollo 17 mission. His comment:

“Fantastic! Mega thanks...  Jack”

- it's great to be appreciated.

Keep checking back over the next months and years as we build towards the 50th anniversary of the first manned landing on the Moon in July 2019.