The auction house Christie's in New York is putting up on auction a meteorite from Mars, states the Daily Mail. It is claimed to have been found in 2011 in the Sahara Desert in Morocco and experts in the field are expecting the price of the meteorite to fetch around 100 grand.
The official name of this magma piece is NWA 7034 or Northwest Africa 7034. It is believed that the so-called "Black Beauty" is at least 2 billion years old, which would make it the second oldest magma rock ever found, say scientists. The oldest ever found is 4.5 billion years old and was uncovered in Antarctica.
This happened in 1984. The meteorite is called Allan Hills 84001. The auctioneers announced that "Black Beauty" will be auctioned off online. It is slightly longer than 2″ (5 cm) and weights around 11 oz (320 g). It is expected that the sum to be paid for the magma rock will be anywhere between 75 thousand and 100 thousand dollars.
Experts clarify that Martian meteorites are among the most rarely seen substances on Earth. Also, upon examination, it became evident that the structure of this piece contained 10 times more water than any other Martian meteorite ever found on Earth.
The analysis was made when the "Black Beauty" was first found by a team from the University of New Mexico, a University of California, as well as the Carnegie Institute in Washington. The scientists analyzed the chemical and mineral composition of the piece, determined the water content and age of the meteorite.
Dr. Carl Agi is the project director. According to him, there is already a bunch of evidence that confirms that Mars was once a lot more warm and moist than it is now.
During the auction, other meteorites from Mars, the Moon, as well as asteroids from the Sun's orbit will be sold. The auction will continue until November 25th.