NASA is Offering $25,000 for Pieces of a Meteorite that Just Fell in Maine

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Just before noon on April 8th, a fireball streaked across the sunlit sky and burned up near Calais, Maine.

The rare event triggered a flurry of local news coverage, including that the Maine Mineral and Gem Museum in Bethel is offering a $25,000 reward for the recovery of any pieces 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) or larger.

It’s unlikely a kilo could be recovered; meteorites are rarely so large. Smaller pieces, however, will also be paid for.

The museum hosts the largest pieces of Lunar and Martian-born debris on Earth, and they’re eager to expand their collection with what Maine astronomers theorized could be a “bolide” meteorite.

“Sometimes you can have meteorites that are visible during the daytime. A bolide is very bright and leaves a trail,” Shawn Laatsch, the director of the Versant Power Astronomy Center, told the Machias Valley News Observer.

“If it’s visible in the daytime, it’s usually a large meteor that hits that atmosphere and lights up. The different colors you see depend on what it was made up of.”

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