A bag of moon dust is up for auction

FILE - In this Monday Feb. 9, 2009 file photo, a faint shadow from the Earth is cast over part of the Moon during a penumbral lunar eclipse, seen from Manila, Philippines. Early Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017, a partial eclipse and Comet 45P will share the sky. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

CHICAGO (AP) – It’s not stardust, but moondust that an Illinois woman is hoping to cash in on. The Chicago Tribune reports Nancy Lee Carlson bought a bag of moon dust, brought to earth by Apollo 11 astronauts, for $995 at a 2015 government auction.

After she sent it to Johnson Space Center for authentication, officials deemed it government property and confiscated it. The government said the “rare artifact” was mistakenly sold. It was recovered in 2003 during a criminal investigation against a Kansas space museum director and misidentified. But a federal judge ruled in December that the moon dust belonged to Carlson.

Now it’s set to go to the highest bidder, with Carlson getting the proceeds. Sotheby’s auction will take place July 20, the 48th anniversary of the landing of Apollo 11.

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