Description

    PARTIAL SLICE WITH CRUST OF LA001, THE MARTIAN METEORITE FOUND IN LOS ANGELES
    Martian (Shergottite) - SNC
    Los Angeles, California - coordinates unknown
    On January 12, 2000, researchers at UCLA determined that two meteorites found in the Mojave Desert were pieces of Mars. These two meteorites - which together weigh approximately a pound and a half - were recovered by an inveterate rock hound and meteorite collector who moonlighted as an engineer with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Along with other interesting rocks that he had collected over the years, the meteorites were kept in a rock pile in his backyard. At his wife's insistence that he clean up his "mineral deposits," he re-examined the specimens and was sufficiently piqued to take them to UCLA for further analysis.

    The meteorites - now called LA 001 and LA 002 - are extremely fresh Martian meteorites, and this is a select specimen of LA 001. Rimmed with one edge of sought after fusion crust, the matrix is an abstract mottling in green and black - the result of pyroxene and plagioclase having been shocked into maskelynite. The formation of this glass was likely due to the asteroid impact that catapulted the meteorite into space. This is a superb example of what is an indisputable Martian visitation to Los Angeles. 34 x 42 x 2mm (1.33 x 1.66 x 0.1 inches) and 8.43 grams.

    Estimate: $10,000-$11,500

    INTRODUCTION TO MARTIAN METEORITES - Meteorites from Mars are among the most exotic substances on Earth. The determination of the Martian origin of select meteorites is the result of research conducted by hundreds of scientists throughout the world. In addition to many arcane markers, these unique meteorites share the following fundamental characteristics: they exhibit an unusually young crystalline age (so that cant' be from Earth); they contain water-bearing minerals (so they can't be from the asteroid belt - the place of origin of 99.9% of all meteorites); there is evidence of a planetary sized gravitational field on their crystalline structure (which makes the most likely candidates of origin our two closest neighbors - Venus and Mars). The link to Mars was speculative until an analysis was conducted on the glassy inclusions of a meteorite suspected to be of Martian origin. In this glass were tiny voids, and in these voids were tiny volumes of gas. In 1997 the technology existed to analyze the gas - and it matched perfectly with the signature of the Martian atmosphere as reported by NASA's Viking Missions to Mars. As is the case with lunar meteorites, the delivery mechanism was an asteroid impact, which jettisoned material off of the Martian surface into an Earth-intersecting orbit.


    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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    Auction Dates
    October, 2012
    14th Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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