This year, the market for meteorites has been blasting off
On the morning of February 15, 2013, near the Siberian town of Chelyabinsk, a meteor with a mass of more than 12,000 metric tons penetrated Earth’s upper atmosphere with a force 30 times greater than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945. As the large yellow fireball streaked across a chilly blue sky, it emitted tremendous heat and a blinding light far brighter than our Sun. In its wake, it set off a series of sonic booms and a shock wave that broke windows, damaged buildings, and injured hundreds of people for miles around. Millions of people have viewed the stunning footage of the event captured by dashboard cameras and posted on YouTube.
As the meteor exploded, it scattered its shattered remains over a vast swath of snowy Russian countryside, littering the landscape with meteorites, which are now available for purchase by collectors. According to Geoffrey Notkin, cohost of the popular Science Channel television show Meteorite Men, most Chelyabinsk space rocks command about $25 per gram (one gram is about 1/28 of an ounce). In fact, Notkin says, he can sell you one from his own Aerolite Meteorites dealership if you’re interested. I know this because I bought a small nondescript specimen weighing 14 grams. Larger, more sculptural pieces command far higher prices, such as an 890-gram bullet-nosed Chelyabinsk that was recently valued at more than $100,000.
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