This image is taken from a mare basalt collected during the Apollo 17 mission in 1972. This was the final mission to the moon and landed in an area known as the Taurus Littrow Valley. The basalts found here were particularly rich in titanium (Ti) and are characterised by an abundance of the mineral ilmenite (iron titanium oxide) seen in the image as black coloured (opaque) laths. In the image the ilmenite is enclosed in a sector-zoned pyroxene crystal. This particular basalt has been dated to around 3.8 billion years old.

Developing Digital Teaching & Learning Resources for the Virtual Microscope