London: A small rock from the planet Mars that fell to Earth in a meteorite shower has been put up for sale with a price tag that’s out of this world – 160,000 pounds.
The rock, which is just 3.5ins long and weigh 11.5ozs, formed under the surface of the red planet and was blasted from it by the impact of an asteroid millions of years ago, according to the Daily Mail reports.
After travelling through space it formed part of a meteorite shower that landed in the Moroccan desert last year.
The meteorite was named after the village of Tissint, where it came down.
Experts said the shower was the most important to have occurred on Earth in 100 years, the paper noted.
An American company that collects meteorites acquired it and earlier this year sold the bulk of it, a chunk weighing 2.5lbs, to the Natural History Museum in London.
It retained this smaller fragment, which has now been made available for sale at auction.
The lump is an igneous rock formed from solidified lava and has a glossy black fusion crust on the outside.
“This piece is part of the same meteorite that formed the largest piece from the shower to fall to Earth,” the paper quoted Jim Walker, of the US-based Heritage Auctions, as saying.
The auction will take place in New York on October 14.