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A New Look at Lunar Soil Collected from the Sea of Tranquility during the Apollo 11 Mission

  • Carol Kiely (a1), Gary Greenberg (a2) and Christopher J. Kiely (a1)

Complementary state-of-the-art optical, scanning electron, and X-ray microscopy techniques have been used to study the morphology of Apollo 11 lunar soil particles (10084-47). The combination of innovative lighting geometries with image processing of a through focal series of images has allowed us to obtain a unique collection of high-resolution light micrographs of these fascinating particles. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) stereo-pair imaging has been exploited to illustrate some of the unique morphological properties of lunar regolith. In addition, for the first time, X-ray micrographs with submicron resolution have been taken of individual particles using X-ray ultramicroscopy (XuM). This SEM-based technique lends itself readily to the imaging of pores, cracks, and inclusions and allows the internal structure of an entire particle to be viewed. Rotational SEM and XuM movies have also been constructed from a series of images collected at sequential angles through 360°. These offer a new and insightful view of these complex particles providing size, shape, and spatial information on many of their internal features.

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Microscopy and Microanalysis
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Type Description Title
Supplementary materials

Kiely supplementary material
Supplementary Movie 3. An XuM rotational movie of a ring aggluntinate.

 Video (1.9 MB)
1.9 MB
Supplementary materials

Kiely supplementary material
Supplementary Movie 2. An XuM rotational movie of a glassy spherule.

 Video (3.8 MB)
3.8 MB
Supplementary materials

Kiely supplementary material
Supplementary Movie 1. An SEM rotational movie of a ring agglutinate.

 Video (2.4 MB)
2.4 MB
Supplementary materials

Kiely supplementary material
Supplementary Movie 4. An XuM rotational movie of a lunar regolith particle containing plates of ilmenite.

 Video (5.5 MB)
5.5 MB