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    Description

    MURCHISON - LARGE COMPLETE SPECIMEN OF ONE OF THE MOST SCIENTIFICALLY IMPORTANT METEORITES KNOWN - CONTAINS MORE THAN 100 AMINO ACIDS
    CM2
    Victoria, Australia
    While this collection features samples of many of the most historic known meteorites (see lots 49022/49023/49041/49051/49053), the next two lots are samples of what are among the scientifically most important. It was on September 28, 1969 that the Murchison meteorite shower rained down on the Australian town of the same name. Months later, the scientific community was in a frenzy when it was disclosed that in addition to other organic compounds, Murchison meteorites contained amino acids, many of which were previously unknown.

    Coveted by both scientists and collectors, the last several decades have seen Murchison become among the most researched meteorites - with appearances in scores of scientific abstracts. The Murchison event also provided support for the Panspermia Theory of Creation: life on Earth having been "seeded" by extraterrestrial impact. And as analytic techniques have become more sophisticated in recent years, the complexity and diversity of the organic compounds in Murchison are far greater than anything imagined. In 2010, Murchison was again in the headlines when an article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences announced that 14,000 unique molecular compounds were identified in a small section of a Murchison research specimen. The study, by a team of nine German scientists led by Dr. Phillipe Schmitt-Kopplin, also determined that many of the organic compounds, components of life on Earth, were already present in the solar system prior to life on Earth - which begs the question whether meteorites may have played a key role in life's origins.

    In Scientific American, NASA scientist and Murchison expert Dr. Daniel Glavin said of the Germans' findings, "It's exciting, but it also scares me at the same time. We have a lot of work to do to even pretend to understand what this stuff is."

    Now offered is a large and pristine complete specimen of "that stuff." Examples this massive are exceedingly rare and almost impossible to obtain. Easily the centerpiece of any collection, this is an exemplary specimen of a most distinguished meteorite. A bibliography of more than 100 scientific abstracts on Murchison as well as a copy of the Schmitt-Koppin study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America accompany this specimen, along with a custom armature and Lucite cover. 107 x 109 x 69 mm (4.25 x 4.25 x 2.75 inches) and 535.9 grams (1.2 pounds).

    Provenance: The Macovich Collection.


    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. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. 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.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2011
    12th Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 3,821

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

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