Meteorite fever

 作者:迟憎     |      日期:2019-02-26 07:17:06
By Philip Cohen MARS fever has hit the meteorite trade. Last week a company placed banner advertisements in The New York Times offering to sell slivers of the Red Planet for hundreds of times the price of gold. In total, 0.5 kilograms of the Zagami meteorite are up for grabs. This 18-kilogram block is thought to have been blasted from the surface of Mars by a comet or asteroid some 2.5 million years ago. It fell to Earth in Nigeria in 1962. The rock is being marketed by The Sky is Falling, a New York-based company launched by Darryl Pitt, curator of the Macovich Collection of Meteorites. For $98, buyers will receive 0.02 grams of the meteorite, enclosed in a vial that is encased in a cube of Plexiglas. Pieces of Martian meteorites have been traded quietly for years, at more reasonable prices. A trawl of Web sites by New Scientist revealed fragments on sale for $750 per gram, less than a sixth of the price demanded by Pitt. Planetary scientists are amused by the sudden inflation in the Mars meteorite market. “It’s interesting that you can market science like O. J. Simpson collectables,” says Arden Albee of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, project scientist for the Mars Global Surveyor probe, which carries a grain of the Zagami meteorite (This Week, 20 September,