[meteorite-list] Re: Frass Rock and Michael Moore
From: Ron Baalke <baalke_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu Apr 22 09:37:33 2004
> Hi, all -
> Yes, I did deal with Mr. Moore and his marvellous martian meteorite.
> He wrote to his congressman and senators complaining that he had
> not been given a fair hearing by NASA. The complaint went to NASA
> Legislative affairs, and then down to the bottom of the pecking -- me.
> After several false starts, I did meet with Mr. Moore and his rock,
> examined it, looked at a thin section, and studied the chemical analyses
> that Mr. Moore had obtained. Putting this all together, there was no
> evidence at all that the rock was a meteorite, or was like the SNC martian
> meteorites. The report to NASA was about 33 pages. I'm looking into
> whether I can get it put up on the web somewhere. The chemical analyses
> part is pretty good.
Here are some excerpts from Allan's report:
MARTIAN ORIGIN OF THE
"FRASS ROCK" OF
MR. MICHAEL MOORE, AMARILLO, TX.
Allan H. Treiman
Senior Staff Scientist
Lunar and Planetary Institute
March 22, 1999
Mr. Michael Moore of Amarillo Texas reported to his
Senators and Congressman that he possessed a meteorite
from Mars, and requested that NASA study the object. His
request was forwarded, through the NASA Legislative
liaison officer, to Dr. Allan H. Treiman of the Lunar and
Planetary Institute, TX. Dr. Treiman is an expert on
The object, a rounded boulder of bubbly basalt lava
rock, is not a meteorite and is not from Mars.
The boulder cannot be considered a meteorite as it
shows no fusion crust, the glassy melted coating that
develops on all rocks from space as they burn through the
Although the known martian meteorites are basalt lava
rocks (or closely related), Mr. Moore's basalt rock is
not martian: it is from the Earth. This conclusion is
based on chemical elemental analyses of the rock. With
the available chemical data, ten distinct tests a
basalt's planetary origin could be applied to Mr. Moore's
basalt. None of the tests suggests that the rock formed
on Mars; all of the tests show that it is similar to
Earth basalts, and so must have formed on Earth.
The Frass rock cannot be considered a meteorite, in any
normal sense of the term, as it shows no evidence of having
come from beyond the Earth. It is not covered with a fusion
crust, the melted layer that develops on rock meteorites as
they pass through the Earth's atmosphere. If, indeed, the
Frass Rock were a meteorite and had fallen the day before it
was collected, it must show some evidence of its passage
through the Earth's atmosphere. Nor does the chemical
composition of the Frass Rock suggest an extraterrestrial
origin. Every chemical test that could be applied is
consistent with it having formed on Earth.
The Frass rock cannot be considered martian, based on
our current knowledge of martian basalts. No test of the
Frass rock's chemical composition requires that it be
martian; every test is consistent with an Earthly origin.
Received on Fri 08 Dec 2000 01:27:08 PM PST