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Earth Moon Space Science

Rare Moon Mineral Found On Earth 64

Posted by Soulskill
from the made-in-wisconsin dept.
sciencehabit writes "A mineral previously known only from moon rocks and lunar meteorites has now been found on Earth. Researchers discovered the substance — dubbed tranquillityite after the Sea of Tranquility, where Apollo 11 astronauts landed on the Moon in July 1969— at six sites in Western Australia (abstract). The mineral occurs only in minuscule amounts and has no economic value, but scientists say it could be used for age-dating the rocks in which it occurs."
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Rare Moon Mineral Found On Earth

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @07:18PM (#38579214)
    Sounds just like the occasional pearl of wisdom that my brother might offer.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Sounds just like the occasional pearl of wisdom that my brother might offer.

      I think the point was that it can't be used for anything.. it's not an energy source or something that can be systhesized into super heat resistant jock straps or taken for depression.. hence no economic value. Still valuable, but valuable like a collectible, not valuable like unobtanium.

    • by syousef (465911)

      Sounds just like the occasional pearl of wisdom that my brother might offer.

      Sounds like slashdot karma.

    • by bratwiz (635601)

      Scott !?!?

      What are YOU doing here? I didn't know you read Slashdot!

      Well... this is a bit awkward then, isn't it?

  • by monzie (729782) on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @07:27PM (#38579314) Homepage
    Maybe the people who stole the moon rocks [wikipedia.org] finally decided to scatter them at remote places and run away.
  • It's been scientifically proven that moon minerals are a great Portal conductor.

    The two places I need to paint with this material are the wall in my room and the door of my fridge.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @07:30PM (#38579344)

    Most earthly deposits are found in the state of Minnesota and the country of Switzerland.

    • by Sulphur (1548251)

      Most earthly deposits are found in the state of Minnesota and the country of Switzerland.

      You forgot France, you insensitive curd.

      • And the Netherlands. If you count production [wikipedia.org] divided over inhabitants [wikipedia.org] you see we (the Dutch) produce 3.22 times as much cheese per captcha as the USA.
        (NL: 732 tons over 16,715,489 people => 0.0438 kg/inhabitant. USA 4,275 tons over 312,890,000 people => 0.0136 kg/inhabitant).

        Disclaimer: this metric was created with the purpose of letting the Dutch win it.
    • by DSS11Q13 (1853164)

      Hmm, someone should search Puff Daddy's residence for the missing moon rocks then

  • Collision? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Janek Kozicki (722688) on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @07:31PM (#38579360) Journal

    I wonder if this has anything to do with the theory that Moon was created due to a big collision of Earth with some other celestial body. This theory however is supported by reasoning that in general Moon and Earth have roughly similar composition. Then why tranquillityite is mostly on the Moon, and not Earth. Maybe the general geographical location of this material on Earth (Australia, you say?) would help in reconstructing the collision event, or maybe would lead to conclusion that the collision theory was wrong. Whatever the outcome, we are going to learn something.

    • Re:Collision? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by polymeris (902231) on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @07:49PM (#38579608)

      This is just conjecture, but TFA says Tranquilliyite metamorphes readly to other minerals. The moon, not having plate tectonics, lacks a major source of metamorphism, hence is more likely to keep those minerals in their igneous state.
      On the earth, OTOH, by both a lot of metamorphic (tectonics, vulcanism,...) and sedimentary (wind, water, ice,...) agents, the rare Tranquillityite that formed was swiftly converted to other minerals.

      As said, this is all just a guess. May be completely wrong.

    • Due to the low chance of a large enough asteroid hitting earth and creating such a big moon I believe another theory: there seems to be a large layer of uranium and othe fissile materials between the mantle and the core of the earth. If it was dense and thick enough to form a huge nuclear explosion millions of years ago the resulting force may have pushed a lot of material in orbit. This material coalesced to form the moon.
      Both theories are verry hard to prove, since erosion and plate tektonics have remov
    • I think that this idea is quite possible. Given that Western Australia is the most eroded and undisturbed ( Orogeny and the like) section of earth ( the Jack Hills area is where they are finding Zircons that date to 4.4 billions years ago), this idea, as unlikely as it might be to folks here, is kind of exciting me right now.
    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      I wonder if this has anything to do with the theory that Moon was created due to a big collision of Earth with some other celestial body.

      I wonder if there's anyone here who didn't wonder that. Also, I thought that theory was like the theory of evolution, that it's as close to fact as science can get. I also wonder -- an object the size of Mars hitting something a bit smaller than the Earth would surely displace its orbit. Where did the Earth sit before the moon hit it? Was it even in the goldilocks zone? Co

    • does the date given ( as age of said substance) in the article negate the possibility of collision ? " Geochronology of tranquillityite from sills intruding the Eel Creek Formation, northeastern Pilbara Craton, yields a 207Pb/206Pb age of 1064 ± 14 Ma." i ask because i am not sure i am reading this correctly- this would be about 3 billion years late (4.53 Ga as date of collision of the Earth with Theia) and would place it in the Mesoproterozoic Era ?
  • This is a total cover up.
    Someone got cold feet and thought they got rid of the evidence until some idiot started to analyse a complete bland piece of gray rock.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I knew one day we'd find the location where the fake "moon" rocks the moon landing hoaxers used came from.

  • why does a moon rock taste better than an Earth rock?
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Because it's a little meatier.

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      But it doesn't. Rocks are like pies, and unless you're from kentunky you know that an Earth pie* tastes way better than a Moon Pie.

      *Not to be confused with a mud pie

  • Confused (Score:5, Funny)

    by AndrewStephens (815287) on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @08:16PM (#38579940) Homepage

    So the moon contains rare earth elements, and now we have rare moon minerals on Earth. MAKE UP YOUR DAMN MINDS, EARTH/MOON SYSTEM!

  • It's little talked about, but they found convincing evidence that the cow really did jump over the moon.

    • by Whiteox (919863)

      It's little talked about, but they found convincing evidence that the cow really did jump over the moon.

      That's pure lunacy.

  • I am eagerly awaiting the discovery of Titanite.

  • I say we grind them up mix them into a gel. Once we invent a portal gun, that should come in very handy. Although it'll probably be pure poison.

  • by unitron (5733)

    So now we know that when they faked the moon landing they actually did it in Australia!

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