Lot #3719
NWA 10761 Martian Meteorite Slice

From the Planet Mars—complete slice of NWA 10761
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Estimate: $2000+


From the Planet Mars—complete slice of NWA 10761

SNC - Mars Rock (shergottite)
Sahara Desert, North West Africa

Infinitely more rare than diamonds or gold, meteorites from Mars are among the most exotic substances on Earth with less than 600 pounds known to exist. Scientists suspected a certain class of unusual meteorites were pieces of Mars which landed on Earth. They speculated an asteroid impact must have 'kicked' some of the Martian surface into space which was then embraced by Earth’s gravitational field. While there were many compelling reasons for a belief of Martian origin, finally there was proof: a couple of these meteorites had impact glass and inside the glass were bubbles which contained tiny amounts of gas which, as a result of NASA’s Viking space probes, turned out to match perfectly what scientists knew was the Martian atmosphere. This has been authenticated by scientists of the Meteoritical Society—the foremost organization of meteorite researchers in the world—as a Martian basalt, which is to say that it’s a type of lava comprised of olivine, pyroxene and feldspar in the form of maskelynite. As tremendous amounts of heat and pressure are required for maskelynite to form, this is consistent with the impact event which explained its delivery mechanism to Earth.

60 x 46 x 3 mm and 18.3 grams.

A copy of the scientific analysis and classification of NWA 10761 accompanies this sample.

Provenance: The Stifler Collection of Meteorites.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Space
  • Dates: #607 - Ended April 22, 2021