DescriptionLarge End-Piece of a Stony Meteorite from Kansas. Coffeyville, Chondrite - H-5
Montgomery County, Kansas
Meteorites - not to be confused with meteors, the luminescent phenomena in the night sky - are fragments of natural material from outer space that impact Earth. Named after the closest city, geological feature, or post office to which they are "delivered," meteorites originate from asteroids, comets, the Moon and Mars.
Meteorites are of great interest to scientists as they contain a great deal of information about the formation of our solar system. Moreover, it has been hypothesized that not only did a meteorite lead to the demise of the dinosaurs (allowing the opportunity for human life to evolve), but also that meteorites transported to Earth the precursors to life itself, more than four billion years ago. Organic molecules, including amino acids, have been found in some meteorites, resulting in the increasingly popular Panspermia Theory of Creation: life having been "seeded" on Earth by extraterrestrial impact.
The combined mass of all known meteorites is less than the world's annual output of gold, and private collectors have been making the little excess material that does exist into one of the most in-demand collectibles today. The value of meteorites has skyrocketed in recent years and the sites that supplied many of the finest meteorites have been exhaustively searched.
The present specimen was discovered in 2006 when race car driver, Gary Langworthy and his wife, were riding around on their Coffeyville, Kansas property. They ran over a large rock that nearly threw them off their vehicle. The rock had a rusty-looking color; quite different from the white and tan limestone that makes up the exposed rocks of their Kansas property. Mr. Langworthy broke off a piece of the rock and found it to be uncommonly dense. After some research on the Internet, Mr. Langworthy believed the rock could potentially be a meteorite and conducted some tests; he found the rock contained enough metal to attract a magnet and had other characteristics of meteorites. Eventually Mr. Langworthy dug up the 79-lb potential meteorite and hauled it back to their house, where the rock was cleaned and left around for display. Three years later in 2009, a friend saw the television series, Meteorite Men, and recommended that Mr. Langworthy contact a meteorite expert about his specimen. After a sample was sent to the meteorite expert, it was immediately identified as a chondritic meteorite and a classification was performed by the United States Geological Survey. It currently has the provisional title of Coffeyville and is classified as an H-5 chondrite.
For a meteorite to be analyzed by scientists it must be broken or cut; only when multiple specimens of the same meteorite are recovered will "complete" specimens exist. The specimen being offered in this lot is an end-piece from the original 79-lb mass and presents a polished surface displaying bright flecks of iron-nickel in a dark stone matrix. It measures 8 x 4 ½ x 3 ½ inches, and weighs 5,290 grams (11 ½ pounds) and is a great example of a "diamond in the rough."
Note: We expect this lot to come up for auction at approximately 2:15 pm Pacific Time. Lots are planned for approximately every 15 minutes but could vary and be faster or slower. Check HA.com/live to track the progress of the auction.
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