14053 Aluminium-rich basalt
Click the microscope button to view a thin section for this sample.
Click the microscope button to view a thin section for this sample.

Fact sheet

14053 Aluminium-rich basalt

14053 is a lunar Mare basalt that has been dated at 3.92 billion years. This specimen is flat with one side freshly broken and the other side rounded and pitted by microcraters. Breccia material was found attached to the flat side, indicating that this basalt was probably a clast in the larger boulder (breccia).

The thin section illustrates the ophitic basalt texture with large, zoned, pyroxene grains surrounding laths of plagioclase. The rock is relatively coarse-grained and some researchers have described it as a medium-grained microgabbro. The rock has strongly-zoned pyroxene grains up to 5 millimetres in length enclosing smaller subhedral laths of plagioclase. A small amount of olivine (both as sub-rounded phenocrysts and fayalite) is located in the mesostasis, which also contains chrome-spinel, ilmenite, cristobalite, troilite, phosphates, K-feldspar and K-Ba-rich residual glass.

Additional images
  • Sample collection site (courtesy of NASA)
About this collection

The Apollo 14 landing site was in a region formed by impact-basin debris.

Most of the 42 kilograms of rocks and soil collected on Apollo 14 are breccias (rocks that are composed of fragments of other, older rocks). In some cases, the rock fragments that form a breccia are themselves breccias. Such rocks obviously have experienced complex histories with multiple generations of impact events. Some breccias were heated enough that some of the material in the rock was melted. 

Apollo 14 was launched on 31 January 1971.

Sample details

Collection: Apollo 14
Rock-forming mineral
Accessory minerals
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: