Feeds

'Space gemstone' meteorite crashes at auction

Buyers shun $2m rock for dino dung

Top three mobile application threats

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.

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Most Americans doubt Big Bang, not too sure about evolution, climate change – survey
Science no match for religion, politics, business interests
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
LOHAN and the amazing technicolor spaceplane
Our Vulture 2 livery is wrapped, and it's les noix du mutt
Liftoff! SpaceX Falcon 9 lifts Dragon on third resupply mission to ISS
SpaceX snaps smartly into one-second launch window
R.I.P. LADEE: Probe smashes into lunar surface at 3,600mph
Swan dive signs off successful science mission
Opportunity selfie: Martian winds have given the spunky ol' rover a spring cleaning
Power levels up 70 per cent as the rover keeps on truckin'
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.