Trove of Meteorites and Moon Rocks Auctioned In New York

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Meteorite streak running through the Milky Way

A slew of meteorites from Mars and a hefty chunk of the moon hit the auction block in New York City this weekend — though several of the high-profile items never sold, Reuters reports. Touted as the world’s largest meteorite auction, the sale still brought in more than $1 million.

The priciest items to find new homes included two chunks of moon rock that had once lived on the dark side of the moon before an asteroid sent them careening into space. These lunar keepsakes, which together weigh four pounds, sold to an anonymous and still-unopened museum for $330,000. That might seem like quite a pretty penny, but they went for $10,000 less than the pre-sale estimate.

(MORE: A Piece of the Moon Goes Up for Auction)

Heritage Auctions conducted the event, which allowed interested buyers to place bids well in advance. The extraterrestrial trinkets that failed to sell included a large piece of the Tissint meteorite — which originated on Mars and fell in Morocco last year — as well as an iron meteorite that looks like a howling face, valued at around $100,000.

One item that did rocket to success was the famed Peekskill meteorite, which was caught on film streaking across the sky over Peekskill, N.Y. in 1992 before smashing into the trunk of a car. The meteorite sold for $16,250. Just as the items varied in their history and impact, they also varied across the board in size. One buyer, for example, purchased a 1,600 pound iron meteorite, while others took home pebble-sized fragments. Despite such out-of-this-world prices, though, NewsFeed is surprised more items didn’t find buyers.

MORE: Cosmic Cabernet: Meteorite-Aged Wine Debuts in Chile