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NEO GEO | SO SoCal

Moon Over Monrovia

March 02, 1997|Michael R. Forrest

The rock that makes the moon glow a bright silver is called anorthosite, and one of the few places where it can be found on the earth's surface is less than an hour's drive from downtown. "You can find ridge after ridge of anorthosite in the San Gabriels as far as the eye can see, white as snow," says USC professor of geology Lawford Anderson. More than a billion years old (almost a quarter as old as the earth itself), bone smooth and nearly as hard as quartz, it can be found in dozens of roadcuts on the Angeles Crest Highway. Walk on it and you're walking on the same stuff the Apollo astronauts scuffed their boots on.

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