Piece of the moon sells for $600,000 at auction


A lunar meteorite found in northern Africa last year sold for more than $600,000 (€520,300), Boston’s RR Auction House announced Friday.

The meteorite is affectionately known as “The Moon Puzzle,” because it is comprised of six fragments that piece together much like a jigsaw puzzle.

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The rocks, which weigh just under 5.5 kilograms, sold for $612,500, more than $100,000 higher than the estimated selling price.

RR Auction said the meteorite is the largest known complete lunar puzzle ever found and one of the most significant examples from the moon to be offered for sale.

The auction house said the meteorite was blasted off the surface of the moon in the distant past, likely by the impact of a different meteorite, then journeyed the roughly 384,400 kilometers (238,800 miles) to Earth and survived a fiery descent through the atmosphere to be found in the deserts of northwestern Africa in 2017.

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The meteorite’s “partial fusion crust,” which can be seen on one side, was caused by heat as it passed through Earth’s atmosphere.

The seller and buyer have not been identified, but the meteorite’s new home will be the Tam Chuc Pagoda Complex in Vietnam, according to RR Auction.

The meteorite will be put on display in one of the pagodas and will be open to the public.

law/sms (AP, dpa)