Northwest Africa 482

a meteorite from the moon

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Specimens of the Moon, especially lunar meteorites, are the rarest substances on Earth. The total amount of lunar meteorite material known to exist weighs less than 10 pounds. There are less than 80 lunar meteorites, 18 of which will never be available to the public as they are held, by treaty, in the possession of the countries involved in the program to recover meteorites in Antarctica.

Of all recovered lunar meteorites, North West Africa 482 is the freshest ever found and the most pristine oriented lunar meteorite ever found.  Research has determined that the classification is crystalline impact-melt breccia with lunar highland affinities, making NWA 482 comparable to lunar samples brought back by Apollo 15.   NWA 482 has been compared to the Genesis Rock returned by that mission because of the high concentration of anorthosite contained in the meteorite. ( Genesis Rock Image)  The Genesis rock was named as such because of it's importance in determining the origin of the Moon's outer crust.  Anorthositic rocks are formed deep within the Moon, early in its history.  Apollo 15's Genesis Rock is a piece of nearly pristine anorthosite.

It has glassy and vesicular melt veins and melt pockets indicate shock subsequent to compaction by an impact event....  e.g. an impact on the moon projected this meteorite free of the gravitational pull of the moon  into space.  Millions of years later, it entered Earth's atmosphere where it eventually fell in the Western Sahara desert.   The age is approximately 4.5 billion years old. It is the only lunar meteorite in private hands with an off-white matrix.  The other specimens have a dark Grey to black matrix and are not nearly as visually appealing.  NWA 482 has been examined and classified by UCLA's A. Rubin and P. Warren as well as D. Kring and I. Duabar of The University of Arizona.

NWA 482 also has other unique properties which make it stand head and shoulders above other Lunar samples, including the belief that it originated from the DARK SIDE OF THE MOON !!!  The far side of the moon looks much different than the side we see here from earth.  A NASA photo of a section of the far side shows in detail that it is much more heavily cratered.  Based on terrestrial age and location, lithology, and chemistry, NWA 482 is unique among all other known lunar meteorites.



The specimens listed below are available for sale.  Shipping charges are included in the price.

Click on the images to view larger photos:

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A thin section of NWA 482 is now available.  A generous surface area of material is included.  This thin section has been made to the highest quality standards possible.  It is ready for the microprobe as it has been double polished with no slip cover. - $1000- 


nwa482pt306a.jpg (134288 bytes)  nwa482pt306b.JPG (47120 bytes)  nwa482pt306c.JPG (121547 bytes)  nwa482pt306d.JPG (123024 bytes)  Part slice with one edge of fusion crust weighing .306 grams and measuring 14.4 mm by 9.0 mm by 1.1 mm thick.  First photo shows specimen in removable display box.  Second photo shows the edge with fusion crust.  Third and fourth photos show both sides of the specimen. - SOLD


nwa482pt370a.JPG (144922 bytes)  nwa482pt370b.JPG (39813 bytes)  nwa482pt370c.JPG (122512 bytes)  nwa482pt370d.JPG (113967 bytes)  Part slice with one edge of  fusion crust weighing .370 grams and measuring 14.6 mm by 9.2 mm by 1.2 mm thick.  First photo shows specimen in removable display box.  Second photo shows the edge.  Third and fourth photos show both sides of the specimen. - SOLD


nwa482pt554a.JPG (147262 bytes)  nwa482pt554b.JPG (39488 bytes)  nwa482pt554c.JPG (118808 bytes)  nwa482pt554d.JPG (109670 bytes)  Part slice weighing .554 grams and measuring 15.4 mm by 9.0 mm by 1.5 mm thick.  First photo shows specimen in removable display box.  Second photo shows the edge with fusion crust.  Third and fourth photos show both sides of the specimen. - SOLD


  Part slice weighing 3.11 grams and measuring 32 mm by 26 mm by .9 mm thick.  Photo shows specimen in removable display box.  -$10,000-


nwa482445a.JPG (92972 bytes)  nwa482445b.JPG (278366 bytes)  nwa482445c.JPG (308432 bytes)   Full slice weighing 4.45 grams and measuring 48.2mm by 47.6mm by .9mm thick.   First photo shows specimen in removable display box   Second and third photos show each side with a quarter for size reference.   This slice has beautiful glass melt veins and a natural melt pocket that when this slice was made created a natural hole.  This can be seen in the second two photos within the largest glass melt vein.  This is a full slice and has fusion crust on over 90% of the edge. - SOLD


   Part slice weighing 5.91 grams and measuring 45 mm by 36 mm by .9 mm thick.  Photo shows specimen in removable display box.  -$20,000-



Each specimen comes complete with the following (see photos below):  A certificate of authenticity, a postcard of photos of the meteorite before we cut it, a postcard of the NWA 482 meteorite presentation in the 2003 Meteorite Calendar, and a metal ID tag which measures 44mm by 38mm.  Each specimen also comes packaged in a plastic display box from which the specimen can easily be removed if you wish.


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Certificate of Authenticity

Postcard before cutting

Postcard of 2003 calendar

Metal ID tag




2003 Meteoritie Calendar

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NWA 482 has been featured in the 2003 Meteorite calendar.  Each month features a stunning presentation of a different famous meteorite and NWA 482 is the month of September (shown in the image above).  I highly recommend checking out this photographic record of world-class meteorites.                  

The Third Millenium Meteorite Calendar




For photos of the oriented NWA 482 meteorite before cutting -  click here.


Read a full account of the trip to Northwest Africa - Kim Farmer's trip report


The Washington University of St. Louis has a website giving information on all Lunar meteorites at Lunar Meteorites


The following two references require an Acrobat Reader (it is free), to view as they are PDF documents:

Warren P. H. and Kallemeyn G. W. (2001) New lunar meteorite Northwest Africa 482: An anorthositic impact melt breccia with low KREEP content (abstract). 64th Meteoritical Society Meeting, CD-ROM no. 5453.

Nishiizumi K. and Caffee M. W. (2001) Exposure histories of lunar meteorites Dhofar 025, 026, and Northwest Africa 482 (abstract), 64th Meteoritical Society Meeting, CD-ROM no. 5411.

Consolmagno G. J., Russell S. S., and Jeffries T. E. (2004) An in–situ study of REE abundances in three anorthositic impact melt lunar highland meteorites. Lunar and Planetary Science XXXV, abstract no. 1370, Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston.

Daubar I. J., Kring D. A., Swindle T. D., and Jull A. J. T. (2002) Northwest Africa 482: A crystalline impact-melt breccia from the lunar highlands, Meteorit. Planet. Sci. 37, 1797-1814.


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