Thursday, October 16, 2008

Lunar Meteorites

Lunar Landscape, August 2008

In celebration of the 40th. anniversary of the Apollo missions to the Moon I am going to post some cool images of some Lunar meteorites.

You may remember...or not depending whether or not you're a Lunar fanatic like I, Gene Cernans' , the last man on the Moon, words he spoke as he was climbing the ladder of his Lunar Module for the last time, December 14 1972, "America's challenge of today has forged man's destiny of tomorrow" ...well maybe not so much. One only has to look here instead of here to find where our priorities lie.

Lunar meteorites come to us courtesy of by chance some other meteorite striking the Moon sending rocks and debris out into space, to be captured by the Earth's gravity, then to strike through our atmosphere as a meteor to land and become a Lunar meteorite.

The above image is Lunar meteorite NWA (North West Africa) 4881, found near Algeria in 2005. I love the texture and look of this meteorite, looks like it is covered in cellophane, very otherworldly looking, like it is.

The above Lunar meteorite is Dhofar 910, found in Oman in 2003. It is classified as a Feldspathic glassy-matrix fragmented breccia from the Lunar highlands, really all I know is it looks like an icy cratered planet through a microscope. I guess what I'm trying to do by holding Lunar rocks and taking images is hold on to something that has long been forgotten, the days of Lunar exploration.

Just in case you're interested, the Orionid Meteor Shower takes place October 20-22, look to the east starting around 11:00 pm on each of those days for the show to start, the Moon will be out as well but you should still see around 20 or so meteors an hour.

The video below is a clip I put together of these two Lunar meteorites, imagine yourself in a spacecraft orbiting another celestial body as you are watching it.


Mike said...

Hi Bob. Thanks for posting on the Moon. I always found the Moon really interesting. I hope we can back there one day again.

Virtual Voyage said...

Makes me think how we've lived with the ups and downs of the Apollo programme all these years. Like the end clips of the meteorites, Bob; suggests an abstract painting.

Genie said...

The cost of war link made me blanch. I need that kind of shock from time to time, it's easy for me to forget as I go through my daily life what is happening 'over there' and what it's costing us in lives, pain, grief, and resources. It makes me shake my head and wonder how man can be so insane as to continue wasting time with violence when we could be exploring the wonders of each other, our earth, and our universe.

On a lighter note, thanks for the head's up on the meteor shower. I'd have had no idea otherwise.

Swubird said...


As always you have posted super information about the moon, about Apollo and about the meteorites. I kick myself for not contacting you because I have a disturbing Apollo post ready to go too. Unfortunately, however, I absentmindedly put the current post up without thinking. I'll do the Apollo next.

Great stuff.

Happy stargazing.

Anonymous said...

Hi Bob

Excellent shots my friend. Very artistic .. very unique. Love them. You've managed to convey the "other worldly" essence... Well done.
AND a couple of posts back an image you took "Crepuscular Rays"...totally awesome my friend. Well done again.

AngelBaby said...

Wow, totally awesome, just awesome. You outdid yourself again. I loved the video of the meteorites was just great. The music was the perfect touch. Now I just want to touch one of those meteorites, just one time, ok maybe twice.

Love and Blessings,

Ruth said...

Yikes about the Iraq counter.

How does one know the lunar meterorites are lunar? Do meteorites come to us from other places (I assume)?

Is this a dumb question?

Sherer said...

Ah excellent stuff here Bob, pretty crazy looking second meteorite. It actually looked like a very zoomed in picture of the moon - well i guess thats what it is! However, it almost seems like you can see "impact trails."

Good stuff. The moon will soon be wanning!


Bob Johnson said...

Hey Mike thanks, who knows if we go back, all political, but I hope so too.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Hi VV, hey there were good times and bad, Apollo 1 for example, but we took the risk and got to the Moon, an amazing scientific feat, and cool that the end of the meteorites reminded you of an abstract painting.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Me Too gienie, I knew it was a lot but look how it's growing every second, we are on our way to self destruction if we don't change our ways. Good luck with the Meteor shower, I'll be out 3 nights,looks good weather wise so far.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks swubird, I look forward to your post, you should do a broadcast.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks JD, thanks for dropping by, the crepuscular rays were fantastic in person.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks again angelbaby, glad you liked the video, and the music is from "In The Shadow Of The Moon" the soundtrack, one of my favorites, conveys the mystery of the Moon.\m/\m/

PS. thanks again for another award!!

Bob Johnson said...

Hey Ruth, scary isn't it, the way the counter doesn't slow down for a breather,lol.

Not a dumb question at all. As far as the Moon meteorites go, first they have Lunar rocks from the Apollo missions to compare them to.

Lunar or Mars or they figure there may even be meteorites from Mercury, all these planets have their own unique isotope signatures, their unique percentages of each of the celestial body's elements, they will be totally different from Earth's,but similar to the data we have gathered from these probes, kind of like DNA.these meteorites I have blogged about are confirmed from the Moon, very exciting for me.

Now the with the Moon we have had all kinds of probes and the Apollo missions to gather data, with Mars we have the Voyagers and all the landers and probes to gather this info, when Messenger orbits Mercury we will gather the same info and either dismiss or confirm possible meteorites from that planet as well.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Jesse, Lol, hey you are right it's getting to be waning time and then waxing time , your opportunity to win 50 3D glasses or "In The Shadow Of The Moon" DVD, happy hunting, glad you are up for the challenge.\m/\m/

Peter said...

Hi! The mind boggles to think it was 40 years ago that we first saw Neil Armstrong walk upon the moon. Most people of my age remember him well.

I just wonder how many young people remember him now.

I'm ashamed to admit that after the first couple of landings, I took these great feats for granted.

By my records there are only 21 of these great men still alive and it won't be long before they're all gone.

I hear people say that the space program is a waste of money, but going on things here on earth, we better find a new home real soon.

Take Care,

Bob Johnson said...

Hi Peter, ask anyone on the street who Gene Cernan or even Neil Armstrong is and you would probably get a blank stare, yet you ask them about Paris Hilton they'd know what she had for breakfast,lol, that's the world we live in.

People in general are so short sighted, money spent on returning to the Moon will give us all kinds of new technologies we can use in our daily lives, which is better then what we are doing with our money, killing innocent people with our new found military technology, let alone the fact that we have to eventually leave this planet.

As far as leaving this planet, (by the way some say we only have a million or so years before the Suns energy dries us out) we have a couple options, breaking the light barrier, which some scientists say is still 100,000 years away, hopefully with the help of the LHC and CERN it will be shorter, or worm holes which is still in it's infant stage, but we still have to be able to live in space for long periods of time, so going to the Moon then Mars will be the training field for this.

I think the whole idea of space travel is moot anyhow, we probably will be one civilization that destroys itself before we get to reach the stars as indicated by our history and the lack of interest and willingness to invest money in this venture, so sad.

Peter said...

Hi and thank you for the feedback. After you mentioned Gene Cernan, I just had to look him up.

He is quite a fellow, having travelled to the moon twice. I see he also graduated from the same university as Neil Armstrong.

The space race to the moon could be back on again with China having the capability to travel there. Possibly that thought could get things going again for the USA.

As for leaving this planet for another compatible world within our lifetime or our children’s lifetime, anything is possible considering what man has accomplished in the last 100 years.

Take Care,

Bob Johnson said...

Hi Peter, yes Gene Cernan is quite the guy, I have an autographed book from him," The Last man On The Moon", I also have an autographed astronaut pen from him as well,lol.

You are right about China, it may prompt us to get back into the space race the same way the Russians did in the sixties.

As far as what we have done in the last 100 years and what we could accomplish 100 years from now, it all depends where we have our priorities, in the sixties , come hell or high water we were going to the Moon before the end of the decade, therefore the sky was the limit on spending, not now, we are trying to fly to the Moon on a shoestring budget, hence all the problems they are running into, hey thanks for the interesting questions.\m/\m/

Marvin the Martian said...

Ooooh, you have the coolest pictures. I love the Moon the most, of all the celestial bodies.

Virtual Voyage said...

Bob - titbit in passing from Lana at the Dreaming Tree -

she was in N Orleans earlier on and photographed the shuttle parts.

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks marvin, the Moon image I took was one of the few nights I had good seeing in the city, great lunar detail, one of my favorite Lunar shots.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Hey thanks VV, very interesting, sad but I think only the beginning of job losses in the space industry unless something radically different is to happen.\m/\m/

Livingsword said...

Hi Bob,

LOL Oh my…Bob dabbling in politics!!! Political Bob!!! Excellent!

The cost of some priorities on 9/11: 2,974

The cost of some priorities on 19/10/08: $563, 911+++++

The cost of the priority of freedom: Priceless…

The Dhofar 910 image is very interesting….

Very cool pictures and video Bob!

Thanks for all the hard work you put into your blog Bob!

Max said...

Hello, Lord of the Astropics!

I must say that I am rather curious about what they will do next year by the 40th anniversary of the Apollo missions...I hope they will indulge us with something spectacular!! :D

These lunar meteorites are gorgeous: the fist one seems so silky and smooth! The second one looks like a jewel...incredible!

Bob, thanks for sharing this lunar delicatessens with us...and I am looking forward to seeing those moon pics :D!

Cheers and have a great week!

Bob Johnson said...

Lol livingsword, and interesting about some priorities. Glad you appreciate the work and the images of the meteorites.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks max, these particular Lunar meteorites are some of the best around, the first and black one came from the highlands and the jewel type one came they think from lower down below the Lunar surface, very pure that's why the jewel effect, less contaminates.\m/\m/

Max said...

Hey Bob,

You are welcome!

"the first and black one came from the highlands and the jewel type one came they think from lower down below the Lunar surface, very pure that's why the jewel effect, less contaminates."

Then, it is indeed a Lunar precious gem...nice jewellery could be produced from it...
Can you imagine if they start a mine industry on the moon? $$$$$$$$

Anna said...

Hey Bob, thanks for sharing, interesting info about the lunar meteorites! Anna :)

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