60025 - Anorthosite cataclasite
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

60025 - Anorthosite cataclasite

Sample 60025 is coarse-grained cataclastic anorthosite composed of many fragments from a related sequence of anorthosites collected during the Apollo 16 mission to the Moon. It is one of the oldest lunar rocks found, having been dated at 4.44 billion years (just 90 million years after the formation of the Moon, around 4.53 billion years ago following a giant impact with the Earth). Anorthosite is one of the major lunar rock types and is thought to be a piece of the original lunar crust formed by plagioclase feldspar floatation from a Moon-wide magma ocean. Its presence close to the lunar surface has meant that it has been fractured many times by meteorite impacts.

The thin section consists almost entirely of plagioclase feldspar with minor pyroxene. All grains show evidence of considerable shock caused by meteorite impact events - the black glass coating was produced at this time. Accessory minerals present include ilmenite, chromite and olivine.

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

Additional images
  • The Apollo 16 landing site
About this collection

The Apollo 16 landing site was in the hilly region around Descartes crater in the lunar highlands. The landing spot was chosen to allow the astronauts to gather geologically older lunar material (Descartes Formation and the Cayley Formation) than the samples obtained in the first four landings, which were in or near lunar maria.

The mission lasted 11.1 days, with a stay on the lunar surface of 71 hours. The crew were on the lunar surface for 20.2 hours during which they traversed approximately 27 kilometers and collected approximately 96 kilograms of samples.

Apollo 16 was launched on 16 April 1972.

Sample details

Collection: Apollo 16
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: