74220 - Orange spherule regolith
Collection:
Click the microscope button to view a thin section for this sample.
Microscope
Click the microscope button to view a thin section for this sample.
Microscope

Fact sheet

74220 - Orange spherule regolith

Sample 74220 is an unusual soil sample that was discovered at Shorty Crater during the Apollo 17 mission to the Moon. The sample is part of the splatter from a volcanic eruption on the Moon that formed a pyroclastic deposit, and has the same age as the lunar Mare basalts – 3.6 billion years old.

Most of the sample consists of orange glass spheres, although a proportion of the glass has devitrified and is now black where fine olivine needles and ilmenite feathers have grown. Compositionally the black ‘glass’ is identical to the orange glass. Sample 74220 is an unusual sample that was discovered at Shorty Crater. The sample is part of the splatter from a volcanic eruption on the Moon that formed a pyroclastic deposit, and has the same age as the lunar Mare basalts – 3.6 billion years old.

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

Additional images
About this collection

Apollo 17, the final manned landing mission, had two objectives: to obtain samples of ancient rocks from the lunar highlands and to look for evidence of younger volcanic activity on the valley floor.

This small Collection contains material deriving from both periods, including igneous rocks around 4.3 billion years old from the lunar highlands as well as younger volcanic samples dating from about 3.6 billion years ago.

Apollo 17 was launched on 7 December 1972.

Sample details

Collection: Apollo 17
Type
igneous
Rock-forming mineral
olivine
glass
Accessory minerals
ilmenite
Category guide  
Category Guide
Title
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.
Description
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.
Timescale
Selecting one or more period, for example 'Jurassic'.
Theme
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.
Category
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).
Owner
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: