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Missouri towns ready to welcome meteor hunters trying to cash in

One Missouri mayor is ready to welcome meteorite hunters to search for fragments.

TROY, Missouri — Burning bright over St. Louis skies Monday, the meteor flamed almost as quickly as it appeared.

But in those few moments -- caught on smart doorbell cameras around the region -- the American Meteor Society speculates the fireball may have blazed over Troy, Missouri.

"I grew up with they were trying to get to the moon, so yeah. I look up a lot," Mayor Mark Cross said.

Cross didn't personally see the meteor — or hear the boom after it broke the sound barrier — but he's gotten a first-hand view of the fallout with community members.

"My wife said that she was on Facebook and saw people talking about it, so it's the rage," Cross said.

A Maine museum is offering up to $25,000 to anyone who finds a piece of the resulting meteorite.

RELATED: Museum in Maine offering $25K for piece of meteor that flew over St. Louis area

We reached out to the American Meteor Society and NASA to see if any agency sends crews to survey for debris after a significant meteor sighting. They had not returned our messages by airtime.

But there are other signs of celestial presence around Troy.

"I was very surprised... Shocked!" business owner Melissa Bui said.

Bui and her husband Jimmy Tran were working at their shop, 7 Star Nails, when a customer showed them a clip of the meteor Tuesday.

"I said wow. Amazing. Very, very cool," Bui said, adding it was the first time in her life she'd seen such a fireball so close to her home.

So should meteorite hunters show up in Troy? 

It's like searching for a needle in a haystack, but the mayor says you're welcome to try!

"15 minutes of fame, as Andy Warhol put it. Everybody gets their 15 minutes. So this is it this is part of our 15 minutes and I'm all for it," he said.

Contact reporter Sara Machi on Facebook and Twitter.

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