Piece of martian meteor up for auction expected to bring $160,000

May 20, 2013 at 3:43 PM

DALLAS, May 20 (UPI) -- A large piece of a martian meteorite is expected to bring at least $160,000 as part of an auction of natural history items in Dallas, an auction house says.

The end section of the meteorite, packed with olivine and chromite ovoid crystals, will join other meteorites, fossil specimens and insects preserved in amber on the auction block, a release from Heritage Auctions said Monday.

"The specimens in this sale represent some of the finest fossils, meteorites and natural history items I have had the privilege to handle," Heritage Auctions' Craig Kissick said. "This auction will appeal to everyone fascinated by natural history and truly has something for everyone -- even those new to this collecting genre."

The martian specimen, part of a meteor jettisoned off Mars's surface after it was struck by an asteroid, weights 1.37 pounds, the auction house said.

Meteorites from Mars are among the most exotic substances on Earth and less than 300 pounds are known to exist, it said.

The Nature & Science Signature Auction will be June 2.

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