Museum offers $25,000 for a space rock that landed on US-Canada border

The meteorite landed on Earth last week.
Loukia Papadopoulos
An illustration of a meteorite streaking through the skies.
An illustration of a meteorite streaking through the skies.

Bjorn Bakstad/iStock 

Last week, a space rock streaked across the sky before landing near the border between the United States and Canada. Now, a museum in Maine is offering $25,000 for its remains, according to a report by CNN published on Thursday.

That may be easier said than done, as the meteorite landed in a sparsely populated area.

Darryl Pitt, head of the meteorite division at the Maine Mineral & Gem Museum, said the reward is for the first meteorite piece found that weighs 2.2 pounds (1 kilogram) or more. 

“Finding meteorites in the woods of Maine. It’s not the simplest of the environments,” Pitt said.

“It’s a sparsely populated area but not as sparsely populated as where most meteorites fall — the ocean,” he added.

The Maine meteorite traveled through our skies at 11.57 am. According to NASA, ET on Saturday, April 8, according to NASA and was visible for more than four minutes. 

“For the light (of the fireball) to overwhelm the brightness of the day, it was a significant event,” Pitt said.

Pitt described the meteorite as different from the surrounding rocks, having a blackened exterior and an interior of a different color. He added that it may also contain iron, making it attractive to a magnet.

Another space rock found

In January 2023, international researchers discovered a 16.7-pound (7.57- kg) meteorite in Antarctica. It was among the five space rocks recently discovered in the region.

Research scientist at the Field Museum, Maria Valdes said in a press release at the time, “Size doesn’t necessarily matter when it comes to meteorites, and even tiny micrometeorites can be incredibly scientifically valuable, but of course, finding a big meteorite like this one is rare, and really exciting.” 

The Maine Mineral & Gem Museum already offered a reward for a meteorite that lit up the sky in the region in 2016, once before. Efforts, however, proved unsuccessful.

This time, Pitt noted he was “guardedly optimistic” as he expected a “robust response” from meteorite hunters. Will fragments of this latest meteorite pop up? Only time will tell.

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