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

A press release from the museum said the chunk of space rock would "receive a place of honor" in the museum.

ST. LOUIS — Monday, everyone had an eye to the sky after a meteor lit up the night. On Tuesday, a museum in Maine made an announcement hoping people will turn their gaze to the ground in search of a piece of the meteor.

On Tuesday, the Maine Mineral and Gem Museum, which is scheduled to open Dec. 12 in Bethel, Maine, offered a $25,000 reward for the first 1-kilogram meteorite recovered, to be displayed at the museum.

A press release from the museum said the chunk of space rock would "receive a place of honor" in the museum.

Before you jump in the car to look for that lottery ticket from the sky, know that experts disagree on whether or not it would be worth your time.

"Again not large, we're not talking a huge asteroid that would've been a danger to us but just something big enough that when it's going fast can really put on a good show," said Will Snyder.

Snyder manages the James S. McDonnell Planetarium at the Science Center. He said the meteor was probably a tiny rock and was going thousands of miles per hour.

Ian Redmount, an associate professor of physics at Saint Louis University, told The Associated Press the event witnessed by so many fit the pattern of a meteor, making it unlikely the object was anything else. He said it would likely have been the size of a fist or baseball, while most meteors are the size of grains of sand.

But Redmount said searchers would be lucky to find anything because the meteorite from Monday night's spectacle would look like a small lump of metallic rock if it didn't completely disintegrate.

NASA, on the other hand, estimated the meteor was about the size of a basketball and weighed about 200 pounds.

"Based on the information currently available, it is possible that this event produced meteorites north of Bridgepoint/McKittrick," NASA said on their website.

If you still want to give it a shot, the American Meteor Society estimated the fireball ended its path somewhere near Wellsville.

The museum said novice meteor hunters can find tips online.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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