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After art, meteorites on auction


New York, Jul 12 (IANS): A small collection of meteorites and rock samples from several extraterrestrial bodies is currently open for online bidding at Christie's auction house.

The 'The Moon and Beyond: Meteorites from the Stifler Collection' online auction is offering these objects from a private collection, the majority of which is being donated to the US-based Maine Mineral and Gem Museum.

The sale highlights were one among the many Gibeon Meteorites that landed on Earth thousands of years ago when a wandering iron mass slammed exploded and rained down in the Kalahari Desert in Namibia, Christie's said.

The "C"-shaped gunmetal-hued meteorite is estimated to sell between $250,000-350,000 (Rs 1.7-2.4 crore).

The auction has some lunar meteorites on sale. "Most of the craters on the Moon are the result of asteroid impacts and some of these impacts are sufficiently powerful to eject Moon rocks off the lunar surface into space, some of which land on Earth."

A 'Massive Triangular Specimen of the Moon' (estimated between $100,000-130,000 or Rs 68-90 crore), as well as a 'Rare Lunar Sphere' (estimated between $35,000-55,000 or Rs 24-37 crore) are on sale as well. The former is a triangularly-shaped end piece that reveals both interior and exterior of Moon rock.

"Less than 600 kg of lunar meteorites, like this one, are known to exist. This lunar meteorite originated from a large meteorite shower straddling Mauritania and Algerian borders, which is the shower responsible for nearly half of the lunar meteorites that exist upon the Earth today," Christie's said.

Rare meteorites that originated from Mars are also being auctioned.

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