A piece of rare space debris that fell to Earth is expected to sell for £90,000 next Tuesday.

The so-called Hambleton Meteorite will be auctioned as part of the UK's largest private collection of space memorabilia to go under the hammer, in Edinburgh on August 18.

The prized 170-piece space rock collection is being sold by Rob Elliott, a meteorite hunter and expert of 13 years, after a sale to a museum in York fell through, according to local newspaper the Northern Echo.

His collection includes two rocks from the Moon and a piece of Mars rock, and boasts one of the oldest meteorites known of Earth - the Lake Murray Meteorite, which is over 110 million years old.

The Hambleton Meteorite is one of the rarest ever found in the UK - and also the largest, weighed at 17kg when it was discovered.

The meteorite is a rare 'pallasite', a term used by experts to describe rocks with a certain stone and iron composition.

Only one per cent of all meteorites discovered are pallasites, according to Mr Elliott.

The Hambleton Meteorite - named after the district in which it was found - was discovered near a pub in Kilburn, near Thirsk, North Yorkshire in August, 2005.

A 5.8kg chunk of it, about the size of a bag of sugar, will be auctioned with a guide price of £60,000 to £90,000. The rest of it is in museums and laboratories.

"It will be a bargain if that is all it fetches. We are hoping it is going to go a lot higher," Mr Elliott, who is based in Fife, Scotland, told the Echo.

Open University experts are  analysing a section of the Hambleton Meteorite in the hopes of finding a previously undiscovered mineral, said Mr Elliott.

If you wish to bid in the sale, visit lyonandturnbull.com.


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