Dr Katherine Joy

Royal Society University Research Fellow / Senior Lecturer

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My full CV and publication list is available here and my Orcid research record is orcid.org/0000-0003-4992-8750

Education and Research Experience

May 2012-Present: School of Earth, Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, University of Manchester, UK
  • Senior Lecturer 
  • Royal Society University Research Fellow
  • Leverhulme Trus Early-Career Postdoctoral Fellow

Nov. 2011 – Jan. 2012: Antarctic Search for Meteorites (ANSMET) 
  • Field team member searching for meteorites in the Miller Range, Antarctica.

Jan. 2010 – Nov. 2011: Center for Lunar Science and Exploration, Lunar and Planetary Institute (USRA) and NASA’s Johnson Space Center, USA
  • Postdoctoral Fellow funded by the NASA Lunar Science Institute: Examining the lunar regolith to unravel the bombardment history of the Moon. Analytical research conducted at NASA, JSC.

April 2007- Dec. 2009: School of Earth Sciences, Birkbeck College London, UK
  • Postdoctoral Research Assistant funded by the Leverhulme Trust: Using mineralogical and geochemical measurements of lunar samples to interpret chemical data obtained from orbital remote-sensing missions to the Moon. Analytical research conducted at the Natural History Museum, London, UK.

Oct. 2006 - March 2007: Rutherford Appleton Laboratory contract to Birkbeck College London, UK
  • Research Assistant: Scientific analysis of D-CIXS instrument lunar X-ray fluorescence data

Oct. 2003 -July 2007: Dept. of Earth Sciences, University College London, Gower Street, London, UK.
  • Ph.D. in Planetary Science: Topics in Lunar Evolution using Sample Analysis and Remotely Sensed Information. Analytical research conducted at the Natural History Museum, London, UK.

Oct. 2000 - Aug. 2003: Dept. of Earth Sciences, Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham, Surrey, UK.
  • BSc. (Hons.) Geology: First Class Degree.
  • Prizes for ‘Best Geological Fieldwork’ (2002), ‘Best Independent Geological Mapping Project’ (2003).

Memberships of committees and professional bodies

  • Member of the Isotope Geochemistry and Cosmochemistry Group, University of Manchester, UK
  • Internatinal Member of the Center for Lunar Science and Exploration, LPI/Johnson Space Center NASA Lunar Science Institute Team
  • Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, UK
  • Member of the Meteoritical Society

Further information

1 Lunar Meteorites

Lunar meteorites are fragments of rock that were thrown off the Moon when it was struck by an impacting body, and then entered an Earth crossing orbit. These rocks survived entry through the Earth’s atmosphere in a fireball, and landed on Earth as a meteorite. All lunar meteorites are collected as finds (i.e., to date no one has actually witnessed a lunar meteorite fireball fall event) in hot and cold desert environments where they have been preserved by low levels of precipitation and excess terrestrial weathering, and are relatively easy to identify from the local terrestrial environment.

Most lunar meteorites have been found in Antarctica, Oman and in the deserts of North West Africa, and a few from deserts in Australia and Botswana. The first lunar meteorites Yamoto-791197 and Yamato-793169 were collected in Antarctica in 1979 by the Japanese meteorite hunting programme, although the first to be extensively studied as having a lunar origin was Allan Hills (ALHA) 81005, collected by the US meteorite hunting team in Antarctica in Jan. 1982. (n.b., meteorites are named after the closest named geographic feature or town).

To date, there have been ~177 individual (named) lunar meteorite stones collected on Earth. Collectively this represents ~67 kg of lunar material (~18% of the mass returned by the Apollo and Luna missions).

We know these samples are meteorites that came from the Moon using several lines of evidence (see here for more details): (i) a fusion crust initially identifies them as being a meteorite (this crust forms on the edge of a meteorite as it travels through the atmosphere); (ii) cosmogenic nuclide abundances and ratios (evidence of interaction with the space environment); and (iii) textural, chemical, mineralogical and isotopic similarity to Apollo and Luna samples  (see here for more details) distinguishes them from other meteorite classes.

My research focuses on studying the mineralogy, chemistry and chronology (age) of lunar meteorite samples to investigation the geological evolution of the Moon. Details of my lunar meteorite research papers can be found on my publication page.

2 Lunar Meteorites Resources

Randy Korotev’s Lunar Meteorite List is an excellent resource that keeps an up to date recent list and scientific references about lunar meteorites. More background about lunar meteorites can also be found here.

NASA’s Lunar Meteorite Compendium summarises the scientific findings of each stone.

3 Lunar Meteorites Notes

Statement regarding claims made by Mr Goran Lindfors: I studied a small fragment of material from Mr Lindfors. The data I collected demonstrated that the sample is texturally, mineralogically and chemically dissimilar to lunar materials and I relayed this information to him. I could not, therefore, support his attempts to seek to classify the sample as having lunar origin and I informed him of this. I understand that my name is now being used to support the sale of geological samples by Mr Lindfors that he is purporting as lunar meteorites. My testing did not support such a classification. Please also see http://meteorites.wustl.edu/meteorwrongs/m098.htm for further information about this material.  

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