Sunday, October 14, 2012

Rare Mars Meteorite Up For Auction Oct. 14

How a Martian Meteorite Rocked the World

Date: 12 October 2012 Time: 02:24 PM ET
Tissint Martian meteorite
The rear of the stone from the Tissint Martian meteorite is almost completely covered with a glossy black fusion crust.
CREDIT: Image © Natural History Museum, London

On July 18, 2011, at 2 a.m. local time, nomads living in a desert valley in southern Morocco near the Algerian border reported seeing a fireball light up the sky followed by two sonic booms.

This was a truly rare event, not just the arrival of a Martian meteorite, but a meteorite fall that had witnesses.

Since this meteorite, later dubbed Tissint, landed, even the smallest fragments have been scooped up and distributed among collectors, museums and research institutions around the world. Researchers have begun examining them for clues about their home planet. And sales of the Mars rocks continue, with two pieces of Tissint going up for sale on Sunday (Oct. 14) during a public auction based in Manhattan.

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