A CHUNK of an asteroid fireball that soared across the sky in the North-East 220 years ago is being sold at “a bargainbucket price”.

Grandfather Rob Elliott said he would accept a low five-figure sum for a 5.8kg piece of the four-billion-yearold Hambleton Meteorite, which he unearthed six years ago on a forest track near the White Horse of Kilburn, North Yorkshire.

He said: “It is very difficult to put a price on it. I was offered £70,000 by a museum for it and two years ago at auction it had a bid of £25,000 on it, but I did not want to sell it at that price then.

“Since then, I have sold many slices of the original meteorite to museums all around the world and to collectors and I have done all right from it. The largest slice I have sold so far fetched £10,000. The piece on sale now is the largest surviving section.”

Mr Elliott discovered the meterorite while walking with his wife, Irene, using a golf club with a powerful magnet attached to the end of it.

Testing has shown the Hambleton Meteorite to have been on Earth for about 220 years, and Mr Elliott believes it must be associated with The Great Meteor of August 1783, which witnesses described as a massive fireball passing over the North-East.

Auction firm Lyon and Turnbull, of Edinburgh, has put an estimate of £12,000 to £18,000 on the meteorite.

It will go under the hammer on August 17.