- Meteorite Type: Martian, Lunar and possibly Mercury display box collectible
- Meteorite Weights: 7-17 milligrams each. Comes displayed in 2″x 1” presentation box.
- Additional Information: Researchers estimate that meteorites from Mars are between the ages of 4.5 to 200 billion years old. Meteorites from the Moon are between 4.5 to 2.9 billion years old. By comparison, the Earth is approximately 4.5 billion years old, which means some meteorites are as old as our very own planet.
Not only are these rocks incredibly ancient, but the journey that they’ve taken to get here is also a perilous one. Few meteorites survive their passage through Earth’s atmosphere, and fewer still are ever recovered by human beings. Meteorites land indiscriminately, and many have fallen in our oceans or in remote areas where they are either unreachable or have been destroyed by the elements. Of the rocks that are successfully recovered, only a small percentage are positively identified as meteorites, let alone meteorites of Martian or lunar origin.
That’s why fewer than 0.01% of all meteorites discovered on Earth come from the Moon or Mars, and why there are so expensive – few materials are so rare and difficult to come by. Though some Martian or lunar meteorite specimens may be very small, they are nonetheless part of our cosmic past and our history. Even the smallest of meteorites is part of a story larger than our own planet’s, and one that dates to the dawn of our solar system.
Small meteorite specimens give everyone an opportunity to actually hold and own a piece of outer space and are great as unique gifts, learning tools, and just for fun. Aerolite is proud to offer space rocks for less than $200 and as low as $10.
Because every meteorite is unique, you will receive a similar piece that may not look exactly as photographed. The NASA art may also be different. Includes an official meteorite classification number and a statement of authenticity on the reverse.
Moon, Mars and Mercury Boxes
9 in stock
9 in stock
About each collectible box:
MARS: We know that pieces of the Red Planet fell here because of the robot Viking spacecraft that landed on Mars in 1976. Six years after those landings, Drs. Johnson and Bogard were studying an unusual meteorite, here on Earth; a meteorite with a most unusual name — Elephant Moraine 79001, found in Antarctica in 1979. The two scientists made an astonishing discovery: tiny amounts of gas trapped within vugs in the 79001 meteorite were a close match to the thin atmosphere of Mars, as recorded by the Viking landers. The experiment was later repeated and confirmed by looking at several other Martian meteorites, clearly indicating their origin point. And what a fiery and furious life they’ve had! Blasted off the surface of their home planet by other meteorite impacts (the impactors likely being large asteroid fragments), they wandered in space until falling here.
The improbable origin story of Martian meteorites makes them plenty rare — what are the chances that something would be blasted off a smaller planet that is, on average, 140 million miles away and then land on ours? Couple that with the fact that Martian meteorites are fragile; they are essentially cooled lava from another planet and contain little or no metal, meaning that — unlike most meteorites — metal detectors and magnets cannot be used to recover them, making them notoriously difficult to identify and recover in the field.
MERCURY: In 2012, an obscure rock was found somewhere in the desert near Northwest Africa. Official chemical analysis revealed that this strange rock originated from outer space and had unique petrographic characteristics, meaning it is different from all other known meteorites. Experts officially classified the stone, NWA 7325, as an ungrouped Achondrite.
The mysterious intrigue of this space rock goes deeper than its unique classification and unknown find site—some scientists suggest that based on its oxidation state, it may have come from the planet Mercury, based on data returned by NASA’s Messenger space probe. A large and violent impact could have rocked the planet, named after the Roman messenger god, and caused NWA 7325 to catapult its way to Earth.
Though we cannot be certain of its origin, what is certain is the meteorite’s parent body was large enough to form a core, mantle, and crust. Beyond that, only 35 total pieces were recovered, totaling a minuscule 345 grams in weight, making the material rare and highly desirable.
Even if the space rock is not from Mercury, there has never been anything quite like it found on Earth before. NWA 7325 is a unique piece sparking much debate throughout the scientific community and much excitement among collectors.
MOON: You may have heard that it is illegal for American citizens to own Moon rocks. Actually, it is only illegal for individuals to privately own Apollo mission samples that were returned to Earth by our astronauts in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Owning a lunar meteorite fragment is not only legal, it’s a wonderful way to reach for the stars. This marvelous collectible features a 100% genuine piece of the Moon, presented in an attractive display box featuring an official NASA photo.