Why Are Meteorites So Expensive?

Some pricey chunks of space rock are among the objects for sale at a Dallas auction house this weekend.

The Garza Stone, a 5-pound piece of a meteorite that famously crashed through the roof of a house in Park Forest, Ill., in 2003, is expected to fetch more than $55,000.

"Meteorites are more than just rocks," says David Herskowitz, director of the natural history section at Heritage Auctions. "They hold the key to life on this planet."

Correction May 13, 2009

In this interview, David Herskowitz said, "Out of all of history, there have been no meteorite-persons collisions. In other words, not one meteorite has hit any human being on this planet." This is not correct. In 1954, a meteorite came through the roof of a house in Sylacauga, Ala., and struck Ann Elizabeth Hodges on the hand and hip.

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