The saying "I'll love you to the Moon and back" just became a tangible realization. You can literally show your love by giving a piece of the Moon to the person you hold dearest on this planet. That is, if you have $2.5 million lying around. Love comes at a price, after all.
One of the world's largest pieces of lunar meteorite is going on sale on Thursday in a Christie's private sale, starting at the above price, or 2 million pounds sterling.
The moon rock, formally known as NWA 12691, weighs more than 13.5 kg and is believed to be Earth's fifth largest lunar meteorite. The rock was most likely chiseled off the Moon's surface by an impact with an asteroid or comet, and then came showering down on Earth. Its resting place was in the Sahara desert, where it was discovered in 2018.
So far, there is only 650 kg of moon rock in total that's been discovered on Earth.
James Hyslop, Christie's head of science and natural history, vividly explained "The experience of holding a piece of another world in your hands is something you never forget."
"It is an actual piece of the moon. It is about the size of a football, a bit more oblong than that, larger than your head."
Scientists who have studied the piece are positive it does, in fact, originate from the Moon, as they cross-examined the rock with other samples brought back during the U.S.' Apollo space missions to the Moon.
"In the 1960s and 1970s the Apollo program brought back about 400 kilograms of moon rock with them and scientists have been able to analyze the chemical and isotopic compositions of those rocks and they have determined that they match certain meteorites," said Hyslop.
As meteorites are rare, and with only one in a thousand originating from the Moon, this makes the Christie's piece highly valuable. Hyslop mentioned that "they (Christie's) are expecting tremendous enthusiasm in the moon rock from natural history museums all over the world."
Furthermore, he added that "the moon rock would make an excellent trophy for anyone interested in space history and lunar exploration."