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Apollo 17 - Orange Soil

Target Name:  Moon
Spacecraft:  Apollo 17
Produced by:  NASA
Copyright: Public Domain

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These orange glass spheres and fragments are the finest particles ever brought back from the Moon. The particles range in size from 20 to 45 microns. The orange soil was brought back from the Taurus-Littrow landing site by the apollo 17 crewmen. Scientist-Astronaut Harrison J. Schmitt discovered the orange soil at Shorty Crater. The orange particles, which are intermixed with black and black-speckled grains, are about the same size as the particles that compose silt on Earth. Chemical analysis of the orange soil material has show the sample to be similar to some of the samples brought back from the Apollo 11 (Sea of Tranquility) site several hundred miles to the southwest. Like those samples, it is rich in titanium (8%) and iron oxide (22%). But unlike the Apollo 11 samples, the orange soil is unexplainably rich in zinc. The orange soil is probably of volcanic origin and not the product of meteorite impact.

Copyright © 1995-2013 by Calvin J. Hamilton. All rights reserved.