A piece of Moon rock weighing just 1.75kg sold at auction over the weekend for more than £200,000.
Lunar rocks are so scarce and difficult to identify that no examples have been found in Europe or either of the American continents.
So when Heritage Auctions in the US announced it was selling the 1.75kg rock at its New York sale, it created a huge buzz around the world.
The rock, discovered in Libya in 1998, was once embedded into the dark side of the moon but was dislodged after being hit by an asteroid.
It was the fourth largest piece of the Moon ever made available to the public and fetched a staggering £205,000.
The lunar rock, which had been split into two pieces, was one of 125 meteorites auctioned off with sales totalling £665,000.
Darryl Pitt, meteorite consultant for Heritage Auctions, described the moon rock as “worthy of the finest natural history museums in the world.”
He added: “All of us are thrilled for the new owners of this impeccable specimen.”
It is thought that less than 150 pounds of meteorites originating from the Moon which are known to exist.
Each lunar meteorite recovery to date has been from a desert where such meteorites are more readily identified.
Jim Walker, director of nature and science at Heritage Auctions, added: “The enthusiasm among collectors for these rare, aesthetic space rocks was just tremendous.”
“The top prices that collectors were willing to pay for the prime examples reflected that passion.”