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No. 26: Mar-Apr 1983

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Antarctic Meteorite May Have Been Blasted Off The Moon

Meteorite ALHA 81005, discovered in the snowy wastes of Antarctica about a year ago, clearly resembles some of the rocks brought back from the moon by the Apollo astronauts. First, the meteorite's isotope ratios echo those found in bona fide moon rocks. Second, the meteorite is a breccia, consisting of small chunks cemented together, some of which are pinkish, magnesium-aluminum-rich spinels sometimes seen in lunar rocks but not terrestrial rocks or ordinary meteorites. Anorthosite is also present -- a type of rock found on the earth and moon but not ordinary meteorites.

The implication is that ALHA 81005 was blasted off the moon by a comet or big meteorite. It escaped the moon's gravitational field, was captured by the earth, and plunged into the Antarctic snows.

(Eberhart, J.; "Early Hints at a Moonish Meteorite," Science News, 123:54, 1983.)

Comment. Geologically speaking, the ice and snow of Antarctica are fairly recent. This meteorite may then be evidence of recent astronomical catastrophism that might also have affected the earth.

Reference. Anomalous meteorites are cataloged in Section AYE in The Sun and Solar System Debris. A descrption of this book is located here.

From Science Frontiers #26, MAR-APR 1983. 1983-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987