Description

    NWA 6950 - SLICE OF THE MOON FROM THE DARK BASALTIC LUNAR PLAINS
    Lunar Mare - LUN
    Sahara Desert at the Mali/Algeria Border - coordinates unknown
    Similar to the previous lot, this slice was removed from another fragment of NWA 6950 - one less endowed than the previous example, and suitable for subdivision. NWA 6950 contains, at 2.865 billion years of age, some of the youngest lunar material known. An olivine gabbro, NWA 6950 is an intrusive igneous rock containing large amounts of olivine that formed deep under the lunar crust or within magma chambers of volcanoes. We know the gabbro crystallized deep under the crust because of the large grain/crystal size, which requires slow and steady cooling. The existence of this material proves that the Moon was volcanically active 2.8 billion years ago. This revelation upended theories about the Moon as it was believed the Moon was already "dead" hundreds of millions of years earlier. It has been argued that NWA 6950 is among the most scientifically important lunar meteorites discovered, and the present slice is an attractive representation. 68 x 38 x 1mm (2.66 x 1.5 x 0.1 inches) and 6.945 grams

    Provenance: The Macovich Collection, New York City

    Estimate: $5,000-$6,500

    INTRODUCTION TO LUNAR METEORITES - The following six lots are portions of the Moon authenticated by renowned scientists. Lunar samples are readily identified by their highly specific geological, mineralogical, chemical and radiation signatures. Lunar minerals were formed in a weak gravitational field, absence of water, with no free oxygen, and have been altered through exposure to cosmic radiation. The minerals comprising the Moon's crust are limited. Lunar specimens contain gases originating from the solar wind with isotope ratios that are markedly different than the same gases found on Earth (also a result of cosmic radiation).

    When asteroids strike the Moon's surface, chunks of the Moon are launched into space in much the same way that dust is launched into the air when a child dives onto a bed. One merely needs to view the craters of the Moon to imagine the number of asteroids whose impact would have provided sufficient energy to eclipse the Moon's gravitational influence and launch surface material into space.

    Less than 0.1% of all meteorites recovered are lunar in origin, with less than 150 pounds of meteorites originating from the Moon known to exist. Lunar meteorites are so scarce, and so difficult to identify, that not one example has ever been found in Europe, or either of the American continents. Every single lunar meteorite recovery to date has been from a desert where such meteorites are more readily identified (including the cold desert of Antarctica, where precipitation is negligible).

    Of the 79 distinct lunar meteorites known, 20 were found by scientists searching in Antarctica. Owned by a consortium of countries, not one gram of Antarctic material will ever be available to the private sector. (Nor will the U.S. government ever release a single gram of the 380 kg of Moon rocks recovered by Apollo astronauts.)

    Moving onto the fourth largest lunar meteorite known to exist, Dar al Gani (DaG) 1058 - the larger piece of the Moon to grace a public offering.


    Condition Report*:

    Condition report available upon request.

    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2012
    14th Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,328

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