Museum offers $20,000 reward for piece of meteor seen over Northeast
A fire ball was seen lighting up the sky from New Jersey to Quebec early Tuesday morning.
Dashcam video from the Portland Police Department captured the fireball's brief but impressive flight and it has been viewed on Facebook over 600,000 times.
The Maine Mineral & Gem Museum suspects the meteor crashed into the woods of northwestern Maine, based on preliminary findings. It's offering a $20,000 reward for the first one-kilogram meteorite recovered which will receive a place of honor in the museum's Meteorite Hall., according to the museum's Facebook page.
According to the American Meteor Society, such events are extremely common, but extremely rare to behold.
The society's operations manager, Mike Hankey, says fireballs (and yes, that's the correct astronomical term) happen pretty regularly when debris hits the Earth's atmosphere and creates friction and heat.
"Debris from space hits Earth all the time," Hankey told CNN. "The bigger the debris, the bigger the flash of light."
He says that based on the video, the debris -- most likely a piece of an asteroid -- was about the size of a car.