According to Wikipedia the first meteorite of Lunar origin wasn't identified until 1982. Today 306 Lunar meteorites have been identified.

  • Why weren't they identified as Lunar already a decade earlier, when the Apollo samples had been analyzed?
  • How do Lunar meteorites differ, the Lunar surface consists of meteoroid material anyway?
  • Were there suggestions before 1982 that certain meteorites were of Lunar origin, and did they turn out to be correct?
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I think it's a matter of confidence level -- distinguishing lunar rock composition from other sources $\endgroup$ – Carl Witthoft Sep 7 '17 at 13:26
  • $\begingroup$ For your first question, "why weren't lunar meteorites identified in the early 1970's", the Wikipedia article says that the first one identified was not found (meaning not picked up) until 1982. Obviously, you cannot identify something that is not in anyone's possession. :-) The Japanese had picked one up in 1979 (among other meteorites), but my guess is that they were not completely analyzed. Or maybe the lunar meteorite was analyzed but they did not have a lunar sample to compare it to. $\endgroup$ – JohnHoltz Sep 7 '17 at 16:40
  • $\begingroup$ @JohnHoltz Were those really the first ones found? And now there are 306 known ones. Isn't that strange? $\endgroup$ – LocalFluff Sep 7 '17 at 16:55
  • $\begingroup$ Related Q&A: Meteor shower from Moon's “debris”. Also, this list suggests that meteorite Yamato 791197 was found in 1979. $\endgroup$ – Dhruv Saxena Sep 10 '17 at 1:57

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