Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Heart-shaped meteorite up for auction

Christie's is offering a heart-shaped meteorite, one that plummeted to Earth over Siberia in 1947. The meteorite once belonged to a colossal mass of iron that split from the asteroid belt 320 million years ago. It penetrated the Earth's atmosphere on Feb. 12, 1947, breaking into smaller meteorites and blazing over Siberia's Sikhote-Alin Mountains. The main body produced 200 craters, some up to 85 feet wide.

The overall size of the meteoroid is estimated at 90,000 kg (200,000 lb). It is composed of about 93% iron, 5.9% nickel, 0.42% cobalt, 0.46% phosphorus, and 0.28% sulfur, with trace amounts of germanium and iridium.

The specimen belongs to an uncommon group of iron meteorites known as IIAB. There are 134 type IIAB iron meteorites out of a total of over 60,000 known. The auction house expects it to sell for somewhere between $300,000 and $500,000 due to it's large size and rarity.