A Piece of the Moon Goes Up for Auction

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Heritage Auction

If you’ve got a thing for space rocks, look no further: a big chunk of the moon is going on the block.

In fact, it’s the fourth-largest piece of the Earth’s satellite you can come close to owning. (The moon rocks brough back from the Apollo missions are barred from private acquisition — at least, most of them.)

The rock on the block, so to speak, is actually a meteorite, Dar al Gani 1058, and is being sold by Heritage Auctions. It’s expected to fetch upwards toward $380,000.

(MOREThe Moon’s Peculiar Dust Gets More Peculiar Still)

Believed to have been ejected from the lunar surface following an asteroid impact, Dar al Gani 1058 is thought to have originally come from the far side of the moon and has “the single largest surface area to mass ratio of any of the largest lunar meteorites,” according to the listing’s dextrous turn of phrase. It’s most likely that the rock will be acquired by a museum or other public institution, unless a private collector swoops it up at the last minute. The current bid stands at $170,000 and the auction ends on October 13.

Erica Ho is a contributor at TIME and the editor of Map Happy. Find her on Twitter at @ericamho and Google+. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.

21 comments
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Jos Lyn Claire
Jos Lyn Claire

From the title alone, I thought some money hungry real estate agent learned from the Japanese, amp; is auctioning off some  "disputed territory" on the moon. Lol!

T.J. Young
T.J. Young

If I was rich enough to buy this rock, I'd take it to a lake and see how far I could get it to skip.

John Krisfalusci
John Krisfalusci

Jeezus Christ is a freakin' rock big deal. I mean seriously, can people get anymore retardish here? OH WAIT...

JoeStecco
JoeStecco

I have a piece of moon and mine is at least 3 times that size..  I'll sell it to the highest bidder.  I also have a bridge I can see them too!

Matt Charron
Matt Charron

And when human commercial space flight takes to the moon, people will kick around moon rocks like they're just dust in the lack of wind.

SteveBlalock
SteveBlalock

How do we know this is from *our* Moon?  Looks a lot like that knock-off crap from Europa.

Dave Sosa
Dave Sosa

WHAT? A real moon rock, we went to the moon? when did this happen? nobody told me  n e thing.  rumor has it though that there's a dune buggy up there, but rocks? i had no idea. what about a McDonald or a burger king? or maybe  a real space ship! plenty of rocks here don't need any , and a i get mine for free.

tucsand
tucsand

 You didn't hear that there over on Mars, yeah Marvin is running them ).

Tinwoods
Tinwoods

Not a single funny comment yet.  The internet truly is the last stop for the most desperate and least talented of the world's wannabe comedians.  

LevonTostig
LevonTostig

Stop drawing attention to yourself.  It's embarrassing.

Tinwoods
Tinwoods

Still not funny.  Next!

simonrockwell
simonrockwell

 maybe some people aren't trying to be funny and are just commenting ?

tucsand
tucsand

 Does that rock come with part of Marvin's uniform?

weezer999
weezer999

I guess Charlie Brown's exclamation from the Halloween special, "I got a rock", takes on a whole new dimension.

tucsand
tucsand

Why not wait a few years and hop on the next flight to the moon and grab one yourself  :). If you buy the rock now you won't be able to afford the flight later :)

Ty
Ty

Buy it.  Ask congress to pass a bill to take it back to the moon and reunite it with its little friends.

TheTeacher
TheTeacher

Getouttahere...That's a chunk of concrete sidewalk...

Badly-Bent
Badly-Bent

What's the proof that it is really from the moon?  Not enough to get me to believe it.

Phoo Bear
Phoo Bear

Derp...try clicking the link contain in the article.

From the auction website "As was conveyed in the Introduction to Lunar Meteorites, lunar specimens are identified by geological, mineralogical, chemical, and radiation signatures. These details, plus an analysis of the radiation level that identifies this specimen's origin as the far side of the Moon, are described in the scientific abstract in the Meteoritical Bulletin that accompanies this lot. The analysis was submitted by the scientist most renowned for lunar meteorite classification, Dr. Anthony Irving of the University of Washington.Exhibiting numerous impact melt breccias, DaG 1058 was repeatedly pummeled by asteroids prior to being launched off the Moon's surface. DaG 1058 is comprised primarily of mineral fragments, lithic clasts (95% of which are anorthositic), and a glassy matrix. DaG 1058 is paired to DaG 400, the first lunar meteorite recognized to have fallen in Africa. (As these two meteorites were found in proximity to one another, they are believed to have originated from the same event.) Split into halves to maximize the display of surface area, this is a matchless example of the most mesmerizing object in the sky: the Moon."