Maine Museum Offers $25,000 To The First Person To Find A Meteorite

If you’ve ever looked up at the sky and seen a streak of light, you probably are seeing a meteor. Most of them tend to burn up in the atmosphere and if they do reach the earth, the majority land in the ocean.

Every once in a while, however, a meteor breaks up over the land and fragments may fall to the earth, becoming a meteorite.

Photo: Flickr/Les Chatfield License: CC BY 2.0

Some people make a hobby out of looking for meteorites but even though they exist, very few are found. According to the Planetary Science Institute, it is estimated that only about 10 meteorites are recovered on an annual basis.

This leads us to an event that occurred over remote portions of Maine on April 8, 2023. If you were in the area at that time, you may have seen a flash of light as a meteor streaked across the sky.

According to NASA, the event occurred during the daytime, at 11:57 AM. Since the sun was up, the fireball wouldn’t have been noticed by everyone but if you are looking in that direction, it would have been visible.

It wasn’t only residents of Maine who saw all the meteor, it was also picked up by NASA’s Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science Lab. It was the 2002nd recorded occurrence of a meteor this year.

After the meteor was seen, the strewn field was calculated by NASA. It was along the Canadian border, in an area that was remote and heavily wooded.

If someone were to find a meteorite, it would probably be a charred and black rock fragment. As of yet, none have been found.

Photo: Flickr/Graeme Churchard License: CC BY 2.0

This is where your opportunity comes in. The Main Mineral and Gem Museum would like to pay you to find some of those fragments. In an interview with CNN, they revealed the offer.

The museum is willing to pay $25,000 to the first person that finds a meteorite piece at least 2.2 pounds in size. If you find a smaller fragment, it may be worth some money as well.

Darrell Pitt, who heads up the meteorite department at the museum, says he is “guardedly optimistic” that amateurs could find a meteorite fragment.

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