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Apollo 15 green glass He-Ne-Ar signatures – In search for indigenous lunar noble gases

E. Füri1,

1Centre de Recherches Pétrographiques et Géochimiques, CNRS-UL, 15 rue Notre Dame des Pauvres, BP20, 54501 Vandoeuvre-lès-Nancy Cedex, France

L. Zimmermann1,

1Centre de Recherches Pétrographiques et Géochimiques, CNRS-UL, 15 rue Notre Dame des Pauvres, BP20, 54501 Vandoeuvre-lès-Nancy Cedex, France

A.E. Saal2

2Department of Geological Sciences, Brown University, Providence, RI 029112, USA

Affiliations  |  Corresponding Author  |  Cite as  |  Funding information cite as

Füri, E., Zimmermann, L., Saal, A.E. (2018) Apollo 15 green glass He-Ne-Ar signatures – In search for indigenous lunar noble gases. Geochem. Persp. Let. 8, 1–5.

European Research Council (ERC) starting grant 715028 (acronym: "VOLATILIS").

Geochemical Perspectives Letters v8  |  doi: 10.7185/geochemlet.1819
Received 27 February 2018  |  Accepted 23 July 2018  |  Published 7 September 2018
Copyright © The Authors

Published by the European Association of Geochemistry
under Creative Commons License CC BY-NC-ND 4.0




Figure 1 Total 21Ne abundances of twelve single 15426 green glass beads. The uncertainty of 8 to 15 % is controlled by the precision in determining the sample mass. The 21Ne concentration range reported by Lakatos et al. (1973)

Lakatos, S., Heymann, D., Yaniv, A. (1973) Green spherules from Apollo 15: Inferences about their origin from inert gas measurements. The Moon 7, 132–148.

for five grain size fractions and two large single spherules is indicated for comparison.
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Figure 2 (a) Three-isotope plot of neon, (b) 20Ne/22Ne versus 36Ar/38Ar, (c) 36Ar/22Ne versus 21Ne/22Ne, and (d) 36Ar/22Ne versus the inverse of the 22Ne concentration measured in 15426 green glasses. Step-heating data for single glass beads from this study are shown together with results obtained by single-step heating of different grain size fractions and two large single spherules (Lakatos et al., 1973

Lakatos, S., Heymann, D., Yaniv, A. (1973) Green spherules from Apollo 15: Inferences about their origin from inert gas measurements. The Moon 7, 132–148.

) and by laser ablation of individual spherules (Megrue, 1973

Megrue, G.H. (1973). Distribution of gases within Apollo 15 samples: implications for the incorporation of gases within solid bodies of the Solar System. Journal of Geophysical Research 78, 4875–4883.

). The neon and argon isotope compositions of the cosmogenic endmember (Cosm), modern solar wind (SW; Heber et al., 2009

Heber, V.S., Wieler, R., Baur, H., Olinger, C., Friedmann, T.A., Burnett, D.S. (2009) Noble gas composition of the solar wind as collected by the Genesis mission. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 73, 7414–7432.

), and the meteoritic components A and Q (Ott, 2014

Ott, U. (2014) Planetary and pre-solar noble gases in meteorites. Chemie der Erde - Geochemistry 74, 519–544.

) are shown for comparison. Error bars for the results from this study represent 1σ uncertainties and are, in some cases, smaller than symbol sizes.
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Table 1 Abundances of cosmogenic 21Ne and 38Ar and corresponding cosmic ray exposure ages of twelve single 15426 green glass beads.
Sample ID21Necosm% totalT2138Arcosm% totalT38
(pmol/g)(Myr)(pmol/g)(Myr)
15426-47.197105 ± 213.7 5987 ± 9
15426-117.896116 ± 264.25298 ± 14
15426-28.398125 ± 294.26497 ± 15
15426-510.792160 ± 345.941137 ± 17
15426-I12.497185 ± 367.062163 ± 15
15426-13*13.136196 ± 4313.09303 ± 41
15426-II17.999267 ± 569.887228 ± 26
15426-1019.498289 ± 6811.051255 ± 41
15426-623.292347 ± 7313.544315 ± 38
15426-12*35.384527 ± 12423.325542 ± 87
15426-III*47.834714 ± 16464.6101503 ± 227
15426-3*75.4331125 ± 25192.0102139 ± 303

The four glass beads with the highest He-Ne-Ar abundances (Table S-2) are identified by asterisks.
Uncertainties for the 21Necosm and 38Arcosm concentrations are on the order of 10 to 15 %. 

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Figure 3 Cosmic ray exposure ages derived from the 21Necosm (T21) and 38Arcosm (T38) concentrations. Data for the four He-Ne-Ar-rich 15426 glass beads (open diamonds) and eight other spherules (filled diamonds) are shown together with the CRE ages determined previously (grey rectangle; Huneke et al., 1973

Huneke, J.C., Podosek, F.A., Wasserburg, G.J. (1973) An argon bouillabaisse including ages from the Luna 20 site. Abstracts of the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference 4, 403–404.

; Lakatos et al., 1973

Lakatos, S., Heymann, D., Yaniv, A. (1973) Green spherules from Apollo 15: Inferences about their origin from inert gas measurements. The Moon 7, 132–148.

; Megrue, 1973

Megrue, G.H. (1973). Distribution of gases within Apollo 15 samples: implications for the incorporation of gases within solid bodies of the Solar System. Journal of Geophysical Research 78, 4875–4883.

; Spangler et al., 1984

Spangler, R.R., Warasila, R., Delano, J.W. (1984) 39Ar-40Ar ages for the Apollo 15 green and yellow glasses. Proceedings of the 14th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, Part 2, Journal of Geophysical Research 89, B487–B497.

).
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