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A chunk of mars and a meteorite that hit a cow amongst space items up for sale

A chunk of Mars, a kennel that survived a hit from outer space, and the only meteorite to have caused death are just some of the items going under the hammer.

All three items will be among a total of 66 space-related objects up for sale at Christie’s “Deep Impact” auction of rare meteorites on Wednesday.

Bidders will also have the chance to purchase a 15g fragment of a meteorite that showered down on Winchcombe, in the Cotswolds, last year.

A chunk of the Winchcombe meteorite is being auctioned off. Pic: Christie’s

It contains some of the oldest matter humans can see and touch, with the auction house estimating it could sell for up to $70,000 (£51,507).


Only 602g of the meteorite has ever been found and 90% of it is controlled by The Natural History Museum.

The fireball fell to Earth on 28 February, with more than 1,000 eyewitnesses recording the event from across the UK, Ireland, and northern Europe.

“The following morning, the Wilcock family discovered a pile of dark stones and powder on their driveway in the town of Winchcombe, Gloucestershire. Material from the impact site was collected into plastic bags that morning,” Christie’s said.

More on Gloucestershire

Third largest chunk of Mars

However, the top price is expected to be paid for the third-largest Mars rock to have ever landed on Earth.

The NWA 12690 flew off the Red Planet after it was hit by an asteroid and ended up in Northern Mali back in 2018.

The third largest Mars rock is up for grabs. Pic: Christie's
The third largest Mars rock is up for grabs. Pic: Christie’s

Read more: New planet detected around star closest to the Sun – within reach of ‘future exploration’

It weighs just over 9kg and is expected to fetch between $500,000 (£367,912) and $800,000 (£588,660).

A kennel that survived a hit from outer space

One of the most unusual items being auctioned off is a dog house from Costa Rica that survived a hit from outer space – with estimates predicting it will sell for up to $300,000 (£220,747).

The kennel’s resident, a German Shepard named Rocky, narrowly escaped when a meteorite crashed through the tin roof in April 2019.

“A seven-inch hole marks where the meteorite punctured the roof, ” Christie’s said in its description.

A kennel hit by a meteorite is up for sale. Pic: Christie's
A kennel hit by a meteorite is up for sale. Pic: Christie’s

Read more: Scientists unveil ‘most accurate’ virtual representation of universe

It added that meteorites rarely strike an object, but when they do the value of the target tends to go up.

The most famous object impacted by a meteorite was a Chevy Malibu bought by a young woman for about $400 (£294).

After being struck by the Peekskill meteorite one week later, she sold the car for $69,000 (£50,771) and it subsequently changed hands for $230,000 (£169,239) in 2010.

Only meteorite to have caused death

Another odd item up for grabs is the only meteorite documented to have ended a life – killing a cow in Venezuela.

The meteorite chunk caused the death of a cow. Pic: Christie's
The meteorite chunk caused the death of a cow. Pic: Christie’s

The animal was struck by the exotic rock, which is estimated to sell for up to $5,000 (£3,679), in 1972 and was subsequently eaten by a farmer.

A person has never died due to a meteorite but a woman in Alabama was hit by one after it ricocheted through her home.

In Uganda, a small meteorite struck a banana tree before gently falling onto the head of a young boy.


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