A massive reward is up for grabs if you can find the remains of a meteorite in Maine
Falling meteorites are a pretty common and fascinating occurrence. Finding one such space rock makes it all the more exciting. And now, one such search comes with a handsome reward. A meteorite in Maine that was spotted last week can make you richer by a few thousand dollars. A museum in the state of Maine, US, has come up with an exciting incentive for anyone who can find a piece of meteorite that was visible like a fireball during daytime last week. A whopping $25,000 is on offer if you can find the remains of this meteorite.
The meteorite in Maine could be seen in the sky for over four minutes, starting from around 11:57 am ET on April 8, NASA said.
The meteorite looked like a massive and intense fireball and was so bright that it could easily be seen in broad daylight. It created a sonic boom and its pieces fell somewhere near the border between the United States and Canada, including a few that could have gone across the border into Canada. The meteorite in Maine was detected by radar and NASA’s Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science (ARES) Lab was able to calculate the area where its debris might have fallen. The agency has narrowed it down to near Calais, Maine.
However, Darryl Pitt, head of the meteorite division at the Maine Mineral & Gem Museum, says finding the remains of the meteorite is not going to be an easy task. He said that the woods of Maine do not present "the simplest of the environments".
“It’s a sparsely populated area but not as sparsely populated as where most meteorites fall — the ocean,” he added.
Who will get $25,000?
Pitt says the Maine meteorite is especially significant since its light overwhelmed the brightness of the day. He says studying the space rock can provide insights into the solar system, which is why the agency is willing to pay for any specimen from the meteorite, irrespective of its size. However, the highest award of $25,000 will be given to the person who can find a specimen that is at least 2.2 pounds, or one kilogramme or more in weight.
How to identify a meteorite?
The remains of a meteorite will look different than a regular rock. The biggest clue would be its outer appearance, which would be blackened due to the heat it endured while plummeting through Earth’s atmosphere. But it will look different from the inside. It would also be able to attract magnets since there is a high chance that the meteorite contains iron.
This is not the first time that the Maine museum has offered a reward for finding a meteorite. In 2016, a meteorite streaked through the sky in Maine, and the museum offered a reward for its remains. However, no one was able to find anything. However, Pitt says that this time they are hopeful of someone finding it due to detailed information available from the radar.