Catalogue and Analysis of MacEwan University's Meteorite Collection
MacEwan University possesses a collection of eighteen meteorites. As part of this study, the meteorite samples were catalogued to include essential information such as level of shock and weathering, petrographic type, location of the find or fall, mineralogy, and a description of the hand specimen, as well as any data published on individual samples from the peer-reviewed literature. Within the collection is an unclassified meteorite, Northwest Africa (NWA) “X”, believed to be lunar in origin. NWA X has no entry within the Meteoritical Bulletin and literature searches have not turned up any previous studies on this meteorite. This meteorite therefore became the focus of a concentrated effort to classify NWA X based on its mineralogy, microtextures ans composition. Observations were made on a single polished thin section, using a petrographic microscope, a scanning electron microscope, and a Raman spectrometer. These instruments revealed a brecciated texture, displaying high levels of shock metamorphism, as well as several igneous lithologies with grains of anorthite, a Ca-rich feldspar. These attributes are consistent with classification of this meteorite as lunar. Secondary weathering products such as barite, BaSO4, which formed during the meteorite’s residence in the Saharan desert, have also been characterized. This compiled information was then added to the catalogue to complete the meteorite’s entry.
Faculty Mentor: Erin Walton and Robert Hilts
Department: Earth and Planetary Sciences