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.

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
LOHAN tunes into ultra long range radio
And verily, Vultures shall speak status unto distant receivers
EOS, Lockheed to track space junk from Oz
WA facility gets laser-eyes out of the fog
Volcanic eruption in Iceland triggers CODE RED aviation warning
Lava-spitting Bárðarbunga prompts action from Met Office
NASA to reformat Opportunity rover's memory from 125 million miles away
Interplanetary admins will back up data and get to work
Major cyber attack hits Norwegian oil industry
Statoil, the gas giant behind the Scandie social miracle, targeted
China building SUPERSONIC SUBMARINE that travels in a BUBBLE
Shanghai to San Fran in two hours would be a trick, though
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?