Ever wondering what is the most stunning extraterrestrial piece of rock man has ever seen? Well, let me introduce you the most gorgeous Fukang Meteorite. The Fukang meteorite is believed to be about 4.5 billion years old, which is as ancient as Earth itself and was unearthed in the mountains near Fukang, China in 2000.
The Fukang meteorite was found by a hiker who had often stopped and had lunch on this giant rock. But the man had noticed some metal and crystals and wondered what they were. Out of curiosity he took a hammer and chisel and broke some pieces off, which he sent to the USA and later confirmed that it was a meteorite.
This gorgeous meteorite is a pallasite, a type of meteorite with translucent golden crystals of a mineral called olivine embedded in a silvery honeycomb of nickel-iron.
According to Arizona lab’s experts, pallasites are composed of approximately 50 percent olivine and peridot crystals and 50 percent nickel-iron which gives them their mosaic-like appearance and thought to be the relics of forming planets. They apparently make up less than one percent of meteorites.
This rare meteorite is believed to originate from deep inside intact meteors created during the formation of the solar system about 4.5 billion years ago and very few specimens are thought to have survived their descent through Earth’s atmosphere.
The original Fukang meteorite weighed over a thousand kilogram, but it was inimitable that everybody wanted a piece of the magnificent rock. Since then it has been divided into slices which give the effect of stained glass when the sun shines through them. Eventually, it was auctioned and distributed around the world.
A total of 68 lb of the rock is on deposit at the University of Arizona. Marvin Kilgore of the University of Arizona’s Southwest Meteorite Centre holds a total of the same amount while an anonymous collector holds the largest portion.
It is so valuable that even tiny chunks sell in the region of $30-$50 per gram. In April 2008, the largest portion of the meteorite was expected to fetch $2 million at an auction at Bonham’s in New York but remained unsold because the prospective bidders were more impressed with a 130-million-year-old fossilized dinosaur’s dung that day.
The remarkable find of the Fukang Meteorite is one of the greatest meteorite discoveries of the 21st century. It is said that the Fukang specimen is the most beautiful among all known examples of the pallasite class. However, it is not the biggest – in 2005 space rock hunter Steve Arnold dug up a 1,400lb sample in Kansas.
Our universe is really full of amazing things. Who would thought that an extraterrestrial piece of rock can outshine even our precious golds? Share this amazing story to friends by clicking the share buttons below.
H/T: Amusing Planet