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Lot
49049

FROM THE FAR SIDE OF THE MOON, THE FOURTH LARGEST PIECE OF THE MOON: DAR AL GANI (DaG) 1058 . Lunar breccia - LUN . Li...

2012 October 14 Natural History Signature Meteorite Auction - New York #6089

 
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Auction Ended On: Oct 14, 2012
Item Activity: 2 Internet/mail/phone bidders
16,217 page views
Location: Ukrainian Institute of America at The Fletcher-Sinclair Mansion
2 East 79th Street
New York, NY 10075

Description:
FROM THE FAR SIDE OF THE MOON, THE FOURTH LARGEST PIECE OF THE MOON: DAR AL GANI (DaG) 1058
Lunar breccia - LUN
Libya - (27° 22' 30"N, 16° 11' 4"E)

Worthy of the most important natural history museums in the world, this is the fourth largest portion of the Moon available for private acquisition (the Moon rock recoveries by Apollo Mission astronauts are not). Scientists have determined that DaG 1058 is a lunar highland breccia from the far side of the Moon. Shaped like a large slab, DaG 1058 has the single largest surface area to mass ratio of any of the largest lunar meteorites - making this peerless for exhibition purposes.

As was conveyed in the Introduction to Lunar Meteorites, lunar specimens are identified by geological, mineralogical, chemical, and radiation signatures. These details, plus an analysis of the radiation level that identifies this specimen's origin as the far side of the Moon, are described in the scientific abstract in the Meteoritical Bulletin that accompanies this lot. The analysis was submitted by the scientist most renowned for lunar meteorite classification, Dr. Anthony Irving at the University of Washington.

Exhibiting numerous impact melt breccias, DaG 1058 was repeatedly pummeled by asteroids prior to being launched off the Moon's surface. DaG 1058 is comprised primarily of mineral fragments, lithic clasts (95% of which are anorthositic), and a glassy matrix. DaG 1058 is paired to DaG 400, the first lunar meteorite recognized to have fallen in Africa. (As these two meteorites were found in proximity to one another, they are believed to have originated from the same event.) Split into halves to maximize the display of surface area, this is a matchless example of the most mesmerizing object in the sky: the Moon. Total: 116 x 238 x 58mm (4.5 x 9.33 x 2.25 inches) and 1779.66 grams (3.92 pounds).

End Piece A: 116 x 231 x 35mm (4.5 x 9 x 1.4 inches) and 1096.47 grams (2.42 pounds)
End Piece B: 116 x 238 x 23mm (4.5 x 9.33 x 1 inches) and 683.19 grams (1.50 pounds)

Provenance: Offered by Anonymous Collector

Estimate: $340,000-$380,000

INTRODUCTION TO LUNAR METEORITES - The following six lots are portions of the Moon authenticated by renowned scientists. Lunar samples are readily identified by their highly specific geological, mineralogical, chemical and radiation signatures. Lunar minerals were formed in a weak gravitational field, absence of water, with no free oxygen, and have been altered through exposure to cosmic radiation. The minerals comprising the Moon's crust are limited. Lunar specimens contain gases originating from the solar wind with isotope ratios that are markedly different than the same gases found on Earth (also a result of cosmic radiation).

When asteroids strike the Moon's surface, chunks of the Moon are launched into space in much the same way that dust is launched into the air when a child dives onto a bed. One merely needs to view the craters of the Moon to imagine the number of asteroids whose impact would have provided sufficient energy to eclipse the Moon's gravitational influence and launch surface material into space.
Less than 0.1% of all meteorites recovered are lunar in origin, with less than 150 pounds of meteorites originating from the Moon known to exist. Lunar meteorites are so scarce, and so difficult to identify, that not one example has ever been found in Europe, or either of the American continents. Every single lunar meteorite recovery to date has been from a desert where such meteorites are more readily identified (including the cold desert of Antarctica, where precipitation is negligible).

Of the 79 distinct lunar meteorites known, 20 were found by scientists searching in Antarctica. Owned by a consortium of countries, not one gram of Antarctic material will ever be available to the private sector. (Nor will the U.S. government ever release a single gram of the 380 kg of Moon rocks recovered by Apollo astronauts.)

Moving onto the fourth largest lunar meteorite known to exist, Dar al Gani (DaG) 1058 - the larger piece of the Moon to grace a public offering.

Condition Report*:

Condition report available upon request.

*Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

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