Next month, celestial bodies will be put up for auction in Manhattan offering pieces of the moon, Mars and asteroids to space enthusiasts.
The auction will be held on Oct. 14 at the Fletcher-Sinclair Mansion at 2 East 79th Street in Manhattan. There will be more than 125 individual items available for the auction in what some experts are claiming is the largest public meteorite auction that has ever been held.
The upcoming auction is rumored to feature newly discovered meteorites including a piece of the Tissint meteorite, according to ANI.
That space rock fell to earth and ended up in Morocco in July 2011. The specific fragment that is up for auction was part of a larger piece that is currently owned by the Natural History Museum of London.
The auction is also slated to include two pieces from a 4-pound lunar meteorite that is currently the fourth largest available for private ownership.
Before a meteorite can be called a meteorite it must first be verified by a meteoriticist. The rock is then examined by cutting a small piece and determining the internal composition. Once it is verified that it is authentic, it is named and cataloged and information about the meteorite is then published, according to Darryl Pitt, a consultant for the auction.
The auction is slated to include both Mars and moon fragments which are much rarer than fragments of asteroids.
There is currently about 150 pounds of moon meteorites that are known to be on Earth. Experts reveal that about one-quarter of all meteorites have been discovered by scientists in Antarctica, according to auction officials.
But Martian materials are even rarer and harder to identify due to the fact that no one has been able to bring any samples back from Mars. Yet, scientists maintain that an asteroid impact on the Martian surface could enable pieces of Mars to travel to Earth.
Given that scientist know the composition of Mars' atmosphere, if they identify those same materials in the fragment, they would then able to confirm that the fragment came from Mars.