“The Moon Puzzle,” a meteorite comprised of six fragments that fit together, puzzle-like, to form a mass weighing slightly over 12 pounds. (RR Auction Photo)
Anyone interested in meteorite science is going to be over the moon when it comes to an item being presented at auction starting Thursday.
A large lunar meteorite, comprised of six fragments that fit together like the pieces of a puzzle, is part of The Space Exploration Auction from Boston-based RR Auction. Classified as NWA 11789, lunar feldspathic breccia, the unique rock is unofficially known as “The Moon Puzzle.”
The mass weighs nearly 5.5 kg or slightly over 12 pounds and was discovered in the desert of northwest Africa in 2017. It is valued at more than $500,000.
“It’s a highly important, world-class example of a lunar meteorite,” said Geoff Notkin, CEO of Aerolite Meteorites, Inc., and star of television’s “Meteorite Men.” “It was blasted off the surface of our moon in the distant past, likely by the impact of a different meteorite, then journeyed the quarter-million miles to Earth and — against all the odds — survived a fiery descent through our atmosphere.”
Astronaut Al Worden, command module pilot of the Apollo 15 lunar mission, holds the meteorite. The photograph is part of the auction lot. (RR Auction Photo)
The meteorite has partial fusion crust visible on one side and is considered the largest know, complete lunar puzzle. It is “perhaps, the most significant example of our nearest celestial neighbor ever offered for sale in the history of meteorite science” the auction item description reads.
“The Moon Puzzle” is especially intriguing because it is considered “unpaired,” meaning it is not connected to any other known meteorites.
“Few, if any, of the world’s top museums, have a lunar meteorite that is anywhere near this in size and uniqueness,” said Notkin.
The Space Exploration Auction from RR Auction will begin on Oct. 11 and conclude on Oct. 18.