Saturday, June 10, 2023

Meteorites in Canada cannot be taken outside the country without permission

A US museum will have to fight because of a loophole in that Canadian law if it buys parts of a meteorite believed to have fallen in New Brunswick last month.

A ball of fire fell through the Earth’s atmosphere on April 8 and fell somewhere in the area, the Maine Museum of Minerals and Gems in the United States of America to give a $25,000 prize for the first meteorite recovered from the kilogram.

But Chris Herd, a professor at the University of Alberta and curator of the meteorite collection, said asteroid fragments are not as simple as offerings of money.

In Canada, all meteorites are automatically considered Canadian cultural property under the Cultural Property Export and Importance Act, according to Chris Herd, a professor at the University of Alberta.

Let’s say an American comes and finds meteorites. It must be used to export from Canada. They cannot actually leave Canada unless approved for export permits, the academic explained.

The museum, which is located in the town of Bethel, in the state of Maine, has clearly devoted its efforts to obtaining some space debris, if and when it is found.

Darryl Pitt, head of the museum’s meteorite division, said Doppler radar readings suggest the meteorite, which most likely originated in the asteroid belt between the planets Mars and Jupiter, is likely scattered over a portion of New Brunswick and Maine.

Christopher Herd, a professor at the University of Alberta and curator of the meteorite collection.

A meteor could be worth its weight in gold

The study of the museum exceeds the first one-kilogram meteorite, according to a press release, it bought other specimens that were found.

The second type of meteorite is gold-rich specimens, Pitt said.

Chris Herd said meteorites can be identified by a dark brown or black glassy outer shell that looks like an egg, he said.

Telltale is a sign that they have passed through Earth’s atmosphere from space, he said, noting that it is often dense and surprisingly heavy.

Anyone who finds all or part of a meteorite in the state must complete an export application and have it reviewed by an expert explorer, said Herd, who is one of several experts in Canada.

An expert examiner might say, “Well, this has tremendous potential and national importance,” he explained.

If an expert inspector says, “Oh, I think this is great and great,” then the Canadian border services can recommend the denial of export permits.

After their recommendation to deny the export, the panel then goes to the cultural property export review board, which disagrees with the expert’s opinion and allows the meteorite to be exported.

Alternatively, the board could also impose a six-month embargo period during which Canadian organizations can offer to buy meteorites at market prices, he said.

Violators may be fined or imprisoned

Anyone who takes meteorites outside of Canada without the proper permit can be fined up to $25,000 and can also be sentenced to up to five years in prison or both.

Despite the open interest in acquiring the meteorite, Pitt said the Maine Museum of Minerals and Gems is well aware of the rules it must follow to ensure that any fragments are found.

The museum always exercises due diligence to ensure that the meteorite is properly obtained before Herd obtains it, he said.

If it comes from outside the State, which happened in this case, you will have to make sure that the person is legally exported from Canada, explained a professor at the University of Alberta.

Darryl Pitt said the responsibility for obtaining an export permit falls on whoever finds the meteorite. For its part, the museum said it will contact Herd directly to help negotiate a deal.

If Canada wants it, it’s Canadian. I hope we can meet with our friends in Canada, an example of which can come to the Maine Museum of Minerals and Gems.

Herd said he met with an American businessman because of part of the Grimsby meteorite that fell in the southern Ontario region in 2009.

Since Canada is a vast country, Herd said thousands of meteorites could have hit remote areas.

I don’t think we really know how many there are anywhere in Canada. But they are part of Canada’s natural history. The law is the reason, he added.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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