Are you in the market for a big rock? No, not a diamond. A big, gray rock. Only this rock didn't come from the ground. It came from the sky.
On March 26, 2003, a 10-ton meteoroid 5 feet across hit the atmosphere at up to 44,000 mph. Most meteoroids disintegrate when entering the air surrounding Earth. This particular 4.6 billion-year-old rock also heated up and broke apart.
But pieces of the rock survived the impact pressure and struck Noe Garza's home in Park Forest. One of the meteorites was large enough to smash through the roof and land in a second-floor bedroom, just a few feet away from Garza's 14-year-old son.
Garza's insurance company would not cover the damages (meteorites fall under the category "Act of God"), so he sold the 5-pound meteorite to Adam Hupe, a private collector, for an estimated $45,000.
After failing to sell the rock in 2004, Hupe will put the "Garza Stone" up for auction again via Heritage Auctions on May 17. It could earn $55,000 to $75,000.
"The market is better for meteorites now, and the prices seem to keep going up and up," David Herskowitz, director of natural history at Heritage Auctions, told the Tribune. "This one is a real one-of-a-kind."
Matt Bartosik is the editor of Off the Rocks' next issue and a "between blogs" blogger.