Moon Mineral Tranquillityite Finally Discovered on Earth9 January, 2012 at 18:42 | Posted in Nature, Science | Leave a comment
Tags: astronomy, Nature, Science
Tranquillityite was known to exist only on moon rocks and lunar meteorites until its recent discovery at six widely scattered sites in Western Australia, and could be more common on Earth than previously thought.
Tranquillityite has no economic value, but scientists say it can be used to age-date rocks in which it is found through measuring the proportions of radioactive isotopes in the mineral.
The substance is named after the Sea of Tranquility on the moon, where Apollo 11 astronauts landed in 1969. Scientists found three previously unknown minerals in collected samples of lunar igneous rocks: armalcolite, pyroxferroite, and tranquillityite. The first two minerals were later found on Earth within about a decade, but tranquillityite would remain hidden for over 40 years.