Feeds

'Space gemstone' meteorite crashes at auction

Buyers shun $2m rock for dino dung

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

A "magnificent" 420kg meteorite crammed with "spectacular olivine crystals" failed to move buyers at Bonhams New York yesterday and went unsold, Reuters reports.

The Fukang meteorite. Pic: Bonhams New YorkThe 4.5 billion-year-old "Stony Iron Pallasite*" Fukang meteorite - discovered in China in 2000 - had been expected to attract bids in excess of $2m. Its attraction to collectors lies in its exceptional display of "large, highly refractive translucent olivine crystals", described by Bonhams as "unmatched by other pallasites".

On the day, however, prospective bidders were evidently more impressed with a couple of pieces of 130-million-year-old fossilised dino dung, aka coprolite, which sold to an anonymous phone bidder for $960 - more than twice the estimate.

The owner of the Fukang meteorite, Marvin Kilgore of the University of Arizona's Southwest Meteorite Centre expressed his bewilderment that enthusiasts would opt for crap rock over an "outer space gemstone" collectible, saying: "Some people want it on their shelves, I guess." ®

Bootnote

*Bonhams says pallasites are "composed of approximately 50 per cent olivine and peridot crystals and 50 cent nickel-iron", and "thought to be the relics of forming planets". They apparently make up less than one per cent of meteorites, hence Bonham's high expectations for the sale.

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Antarctic ice THICKER than first feared – penguin-bot boffins
Robo-sub scans freezing waters, rocks warming models
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Your PHONE is slowly KILLING YOU
Doctors find new Digitillnesses - 'text neck' and 'telepressure'
Reuse the Force, Luke: SpaceX's Elon Musk reveals X-WING designs
And a floating carrier for recyclable rockets
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
Rosetta science team thinks Philae might come to life in the spring
And disclose the biggest surprise of Comet 67P
Bond villains lament as Wicked Lasers withdraw death ray
Want to arm that shark? Better get in there quick
prev story

Whitepapers

10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity
IT teams can automatically detect problems across the IT environment, spot data theft, select unique pieces of transaction payloads to send to a data source, and more.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Mitigating web security risk with SSL certificates
Web-based systems are essential tools for running business processes and delivering services to customers.