A treasure hunt in Maine comes with a $25,000 prize.
The treasure in question? A piece of meteorite.
The Maine Mineral and Gem Museum, located in Bethel, Maine, is offering $25,000 to the first person who can find a piece of a meteorite that hit Maine Saturday.
Where did the meteorite land?
According to NASA’s Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science (ARES) Lab, the meteorite fall occurred at 11:56 a.m. local time on April 8, striking the earth near Calais, Maine. The lab calculated the “strewn field” of the meteorite, estimating that it landed in a stretch of forest between the the U.S.-Canada border.
The first person to present the museum with a meteorite piece weighing 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) or more will receive $25,000.
But Darryl Pitt, head of the meteorite division at the Maine Mineral and Gem Museum, said they would be open to paying for a meteorite piece “irrespective of its size,” according to CNN.
Finding a meteorite can be difficult, but Pitt is hoping the prize will incentivize more people to get out into the woods and search.
“With more people having an awareness, the more people will look — and the greater the likelihood of a recovery,” Pitt said, per The Associated Press.
What does a meteorite look like?
According to the United States Geological Survey, here are some questions you can ask to identify a meteorite:
- Is it dense?
- Is it magnetic?
- Does it an have an unusual shape?
- Does it have a fusion crust (a “thin crust on their surface where it melted as it passed through the atmosphere”)?
If you said yes to these questions, you may have a meteorite on your hands.
Keep in mind that a meteorite does not have:
- Light-colored crystals.