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Christie's To Auction Meteorite That Produced Sonic Boom Over Michigan

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Auction house Christie's is going to sell various specimens of meteorites, Mars, and moon with extraterrestrial gemstones as part of "Deep Impact: Martian, Lunar and Other Rare Meteorites" series. One of the space treasures is the Michigan meteorite.

The meteorite in question flashed across the sky at night over Michigan. The sonic boom produced by the sound caused an earthquake. The fireball exploded and fell on Michigan, in the cities between Ann Arbor and Lansing.

Michigan Meteorite Fragment Collected By Resident

One of the fragments produced by the Michigan meteorite was found by Royal Oak resident Ashley Moritz from the frozen Zukey Lake in Livingston County.

“I spotted a little hole in a patch of snow on the ice and was so excited upon extracting a small black rock,” said Moritz.

The meteor from the asteroid belt punctured through the Earth's atmosphere over Michigan on Jan. 16, at 8:10 p.m. EST. Soon after atmospheric impact, the space rock became a fireball that generated such powerful sonic booms that the subsequent energy waves simulated an earthquake, which terrified the local residents.

Once the fireball broke apart and fell on the frozen lakes in the area, people went on an extraterrestrial rock treasure hunt.

The Michigan Meteorite

The fragment showed that the specimen is actually a chondritic meteorite. They are nonmetallic meteorites that were created when different kinds of small grains and dust formed primitive asteroids when the solar system was young.

A black fusion crust covers the fragment that is going to be auctioned. However, certain portions of it allow a peek into the cream matrix of the archetypal interior.

The Field Museum in Chicago has described the meteorite as one of the best-preserved ones in its collection. The museum itself has another specimen of the same meteorite shower. The meteorite is in good condition because it fell on winter ice. To date, very few specimens have been found or documented that are lower than 1 kilogram of material.

The specimens from the space series that Christie's is going to auction are currently exhibited at the Rockefeller Center. The pieces could cost anywhere between $500 and $250,000. The Michigan meteorite will be auctioned in April.

"A curated selection of objects on view will include specimens of the Moon and Mars (which are among the rarest substances on Earth), meteorites with museum provenance as well as meteorites from the largest meteorite shower since the dawn of civilization," a press release from the auction house stated.

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