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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