Tranquillityite, Rare Lunar Mineral, Micromount

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Tranquillityite is a silicate mineral composed of iron, oxygen, silicon, zirconium and titanium with smaller fractions of yttrium and calcium. It is named after the Mare Tranquillitatis (Sea of Tranquility), the place on the Moon from which the rock samples in which it was found were brought during the Apollo 11 mission in 1969. Until its discovery in Australia in 2011, it was the last mineral brought from the Moon which was thought to be unique, with no terrestrial counterpart.

In 1970, material scientists found a new unnamed Fe, Ti, Zr- silicate mineral containing rare-earths and Y in lunar rock sample 10047. The first detailed analysis of the mineral was published in 1971 and the name “tranquillityite” was proposed and later accepted by the International Mineralogical Association. It was later found in lunar rock samples from all Apollo missions. Together with armalcolite and pyroxferroite, it is one of the three minerals which were first discovered on the Moon, before terrestrial occurrences were found.

The mineral is nearly opaque and appears dark red-brown in thin crystals. The analyzed samples contains less than 10% impurities (Y, Al, Mn, Cr, Nb and other rare-earth element) and up to 0.01% (100 ppm) of uranium. The presence of significant amount of uranium allowed to estimate the age of tranquillityite and some associated minerals in Apollo 11 samples as 3710 million years using the uranium-lead dating technique.

The material I am offering here comes from the only known locality in Pitbara Australia. I purchased a larger fragment, which I am breaking down into micromounts.

Refer to the photo. The black centimeter cube is shown for scale and is not included. You are purchasing a small fragment like the one shown. Your purchase will include a labeled gemjar for safe storage.