Cosmic Bounty: $25K Reward Offered for Meteorite Fragments from Daylight Fireball, Sparking an Unprecedented Celestial Treasure Hunt

Rare daylight fireball spotted over Canada, Maine

A lucky handful of observers caught a spectacular view as a rare daylight fireball burned its way across skies near the Bay of Fundy on the U.S.-Canadian border. The cosmic rockfall happened just before noon local time on Saturday, April 8, 2023. The space rock might have struck ground at the tip of Maine, where it borders New Brunswick. Now the Maine Mineral and Gem Museum is offering a hefty $25,000 reward for a piece of it.

A museum is offering a $25,000 reward for a piece of a meteorite that fell on the U.S.-Canada border | B.R. Shenoy | NewsBreak Original

Based on witness reports registered with the American Meteor Society (AMS), the fireball was first spotted at 11:52 p.m. ADT (15:52 UTC) traveling southwest high over Woodstock, New Brunswick. According to eyewitness reports and radar data, the meteor may have become a meteorite when it struck somewhere in far northern Maine.

Witness Katherine S. – who saw the event from Pembroke, Maine and reported it to the AMS – said she thinks it hit the ground:

It was like a bottle rocket and looked like it fell very close to me and stopped glowing, like it burned out, not that it disappeared past the horizon.

Another observer who witnessed the fireball reported a pair of loud booms as the bolide trailed past Calais, Maine.

A Meteorite Crashed Over The US And Canada & There's A $25K Reward If You Find A Piece Of It - Narcity

NASA confirms meteorite fall and names the location

It’s not just eyewitness reports hinting that part of the fireball survived its journey through the atmosphere. The Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science Division (ARES) at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, also reported getting a quick radar-based look at a likely meteorite fall.

Meteorite falls in Maine, NASA says; reward offered for large piece

The first appearance of falling meteorites occurs at 15:57:43.5 UTC (11:57 a.m. EDT) and an altitude of 7,440 m [4.6 miles] above sea level. The last signature appeared at 16:02:23.7 UTC (12:02 p.m. EDT) and 2,376 m [1.5 miles], for a total elapsed observation time of 4 minutes and 40 seconds. This observation time is relatively short, but may be because only one NEXRAD radar was within range of the fall.

The data gathered was enough for ARES – which noted this is the first radar-observed meteorite fall in Maine – to make a guess at the weight and where the meteorites may have come down.

Meteorite masses calculated from the radar signatures range from 1.59 g to 322 g although larger masses may have fallen. Meteorites in this event fell directly into winds of up to ~100 mph [160 kph], carrying smaller meteorites across the border into Canada.

Mysterious Green Fireball Passes over Eastern United States and Canada | Nature World News

$25K reward offered for fireball remnant

News of a likely meteorite strike prompted the Maine Mineral and Gem Museum – located in the downtown area of rural Bethel, Maine, and home to one of the world’s most valuable meteorite collections – to offer a $25,000 reward for a 1-kilogram (2.2-pound) sample.

Given the size estimates from ARES, a 1-kilo sample seems unlikely. But, the museum is willing to pay cash for smaller bits as well. The chairs of the meteorite division for the museum put it this way in a press release:

Depending upon the type of meteoroid this is, specimens could easily be worth their weight in gold.

Astronomers Saw This Spectacular Fireball Coming Before It Lit Up the Great Lakes - CNET

The museum also tried to narrow down the search area for would-be meteorite hunters:

One can expect to recover meteorites in a one-mile-wide strewn field which extends just north of Waite, Maine, in an elliptical strewn field directly to – and over – the Canadian border over the outpost of Canoose, New Brunswick.

Those who think they’ve struck cosmic paydirt must pay the museum to test their sample. And they’ll need an appointment with the resident lab tech. Results could take a while, up to 10 days.

The Maine Mineral and Gem Museum is home of the exceptional Stifler Collection of Meteorites. Among its prizes are the largest piece of Mars on Earth and the six largest lunar meteorites.

A 2019 Christie’s auction of duplicates and cuttings from samples gave a glimpse into the extent of the collection. And its value. Thirty-six lots sold for about $460,000.

 

Sia

Related Posts

ASKAP’s Stunning Find: Unveiling Rare and Beautiful Polar Ring Galaxies, A Spectacular Discovery in the Cosmic Realm

Astronomers have revealed the discovery of two potential polar ring galaxies, NGC 4632 and NGC 6156. In a study published yesterday in the Monthly Notices of the…

Orion Nebula Unveils Peril: James Webb Telescope Discovers Stellar Winds Eroding Planet-Forming Material, Threatening Young Star’s Future

A group of extremely bright stars may be slowly reshaping the Orion Nebula and stopping one of their neighbors from forming planets, new James Webb Space Telescope…

Stunning Image Captures Icy Exoplanets Colliding, Unleashing Enormous Dust Cloud 1,800 Light-Years Away

This incredible image depicts the moment two icy exoplanets careered into each other 1,800 light-years away in a cosmic crash that was only spotted by chance. The…

Galactic Marvel: Unveiling the Colossal 16.3 Million Light-Year Giant, Largest Galaxy Ever Found, Perplexing Astronomical Community

Scientists have found the biggest galaxy ever! Situated about 3 billion light -years away, “Alcyoneus” is a giant radio galaxy that spreads over 16.3 million light-years (5…

NASA’s Eerie Discovery: ‘Skull-Shaped’ Star Cluster Unveiled in the Enigmatic Beauty of the Rosette Nebula

This star-studded picture initially seems like a skull, but it’s actually a portion of the Rosette Nebula. The darker region of Rosette is a nursery for newly…

Incredible Video: Mesmerizing Dance of Giant Plasma Loop Above Sun Unveils Spectacular Celestial Display of Dynamic Stellar Activity

The loop-like structure is taller than 10 Earths stacked on top of each other. Astrophotographer Miguel Claro captured this amazing shot of a solar prominence in February…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *