Meteorites have landed in New York City’s SoHo neighborhood.
But fear not, fashionistas and art lovers: The boutiques and galleries are perfectly intact. The meteorites arrived last week, not from outer space but from Sweden, and they are for sale at a small shop called Evolution.
The 4.5-billion-year-old alien rocks, known as Muonionalusta meteorites, came from a strewfield first discovered in 1906 by two children tending cattle in a pasture. While kicking stones, they found one that stood out from the rest and brought it back to their village. It was later identified as an iron meteorite.
Since then, meteorite hunters have found pieces in the area and sold them to dealers and stores like Evolution.
But how can the casual shopper be sure they’re really rocks that journeyed through the solar system and crashed to Earth before ending up in the middle of SoHo — and not just rocks?
“The crystalline structure of the iron that they’re made out of — which is typical of meteorites — you don’t see that in iron on the Earth because the crystalline structure can’t form this way here,” store manager Alex Minott explained to AOL News. “The exterior surface of the meteorite is covered in something called the fusion crust — when the meteorite passes through the upper atmosphere and gets heated up.”
As for the age, the 4.5 billion years is merely an estimate. But give or take a billion years, it’s still ridiculously old.
“It’s based on what is currently believed by scientists about the origin of the solar system, that iron meteorites of these types are formed roughly coevally with the planets,” Minott said. “And since the Earth formed about 4.5 billion years ago, we put in about the same date. No one can say exactly, but the iron in the solar system seems to have formed all around the same time.” …