4.5bn-year-old space rock: Rare Martian and Lunar meteorites up for auction at up to $120,000

4.5bn-year-old space rock: Rare Martian and Lunar meteorites up for auction at up to $120,000
A series of rare meteorites from Mars, the moon and space, including one that boasts to be “literally the oldest material that man’s hand can hold,” will be sold in an online auction for as much as $120,000 apiece.

The extraterrestrial specimens are being sold by Christie's auction house and include one meteorite that is 4.56 billion years old. “A number so astonishingly large that it almost loses all meaning,” Christie’s specialist James Hyslop said.

A meteorite is made when a meteoroid, asteroid or parts of a comet pass through the Earth’s atmosphere and impact the surface.

"Every time someone, for the first time, holds an abstracted work of art from outer space made of iron, that is a third as old as time itself, it's a captivating moment," Hyslop told CNN.

Christie's boasts that the meteorites sold at the auction all possess the “Four S’s”: size, shape, science and story. Hyslop explained the appeal of the “incredibly rare” meteorites.

“They don't come from this world. They are extraterrestrial and other-worldly works of art."

The online auction takes place between May 3-10 with prices expected to range from $1,000 to $120,000.