Out of this world: Auction of rare meteorites and moon rocks

Space Science

MYSTERY WIRE (AP) — Christie’s is auctioning off rocks that fell to Earth from Space. The largest is a fragment of the moon expected to fetch half a million dollars.

Christie’s auction house has put some other worldly items up for sale.

The auction house is holding its annual sale of important and aesthetic meteorites. The highlight of the auction is a piece of the moon.

Christie’s expects the largest lunar sphere in the world to fetch as much as $500,000. “When you actually get a piece of the moon in the palm of your hand, it really is a magical feeling,” says James Hyslop, Head of the Science and Natural History Department at Christie’s.

The lunar sphere material was found in the Sahara Desert in a lunar-strewn field straddling the boarders of Mauritanian, Western Sahara, and Algeria.

Some of the meteorites for sale are 4.5 billion years old, or about a third as old as the universe itself.

While some meteorites look like ordinary rocks, Hyslop says meteorites are extremely rare.

“The total known weights of all meteorites on Earth is less than our annual gold output. And if you think what a premium we put on gold, we were producing more gold annually than all the meteorites we’ve ever discovered,” says Hyslop.

The auction is entirely online due to the pandemic and will end on August 25th.

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