Discovering Lost Lunar Magmas Using Apollo Zircons

Melanie Barboni, Arizona State University

An accessible record of the processes leading to the origin and early evolution of the Earth-Moon system is best preserved in those precious rocks brought back from the surface of the Moon half a century ago. Indeed, Lunar magmatic rocks not only recorded critical information about planetary differentiation, they also recorded the tempo of meteorite impacts in the early inner solar system. Lunar zircons found within Apollo samples record over 500 Ma (from 4.4 to 3.9 Ga) of the Moon magmatic history and are thought to have crystallized during one of the two situations described above (primary differentiation of the Moon or in later impact events). In this talk, I will present old and new geochemical tools applied to Lunar zircons to determine the age of the Moon formation, decipher its complex magmatic history, and re-discover lunar magmas that got lost throughout the tumultuous history of our shinny neighbor.

Read more about Barboni on her website.

Host: Brad Jolliff

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