Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Libyan lunar fragment on the auction block

Dar al Gani 1058, 1815 gram lunar meteorite discovered in Libya in 1998, at 27.375°N, 16.184444°E.
Clara Moskowitz

A piece of lunar meteorite is on sale at auction, and experts estimate the final price will tally at keast $340,000. The rock, called Dar al Gani 1058, is the largest piece of the moon ever to be auctioned, according to Heritage Auctions, which is handling the sale.

The 4-pound (1815 grams) meteorite is also the fourth-largest chunk of the moon available to the public, since the moon rocks collected by Apollo astronauts were never put up for sale.

"When it comes to the market for moon rocks, size does matter — but so does origin," said Robert Pearlman, editor of space history and artifacts site collectSPACE.com, a SPACE.com partner and contributor.

Moon rocks retrieved by human-made robotic probes, such as those sent by the United States and the Soviet Union, fetch higher prices than lunar meteorites, because collectors value the history they represent, he said.

"For example, three seed-sized pieces of the moon that were brought back to Earth by a Russian robotic probe in 1970 were sold at auction 30 years later for $442,500," Pearlman told SPACE.com. "And while the moon rocks recovered by the Apollo astronauts are considered National Treasures and have never been awarded to individuals, hypothetical appraisals have suggested even a 1-gram sample could be worth millions."

Read the full article, HERE.

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