A huge lunar meteorite that crashed down to Earth thousands of years ago is going up for auction and expected to fetch over half a million dollars.
The rock is one of the biggest pieces of the Moon ever put up for sale is being auctioned online auction company RR Auctions, based in Boston, USA.
The Moon rock was found last year in a remote area of Mauritania in western Africa.
It is "one of the most important meteorites available for acquisition anywhere in the world today", the RR Auction said.
Unofficially known as 'Buagaba' and affectionately called 'The Moon Puzzle.' The meteorite is made up of six fragments that fit together to form a mass weighing very nearly 5.5 kg or slightly over 12 lbs; the largest piece weighs 2,939 grams
The largest piece weighing about 3kg features a partial fusion crust on one side, caused by the heat it faced when falling through Earth's atmosphere.
Most lunar meteorites found are normally smaller - the size of a walnut or golf ball, said Geoff Notkin, CEO of Aerolite Meteorites, which is selling the rock.
"As soon as we saw this, we knew it was extraordinarily unusual," he told the Associated Press (AP). "This is close to a once in a lifetime find."
"This is the only way a private collector can get their hands on a piece of the Moon, because the Moon rocks brought back by astronauts are US government property," Robert Livingston, RR's executive vice-president, told AP.