Dick Pugh, an internationally renowned scientist with the Cascadia Meteorite Laboratory at Portland State University, will be in Eastern Oregon next week for several presentations.

He will be presenting a PowerPoint program showing meteorites and recent meteorite findings in rural Oregon that have attracted the interest of scientists worldwide.

Pugh will bring $10,000 worth of meteorites with him.

The free community programs will begin at 6:30 p.m. The schedule is:

• June 20, Arlington Public Library, Main Street

• June 21, Hermiston Public Library, 235 E. Gladys Ave.

• June 22, Echo Public Library, 20 S. Bonanza St.

• June 23, Irrigon City Hall, 500 N.E. Main St.

The programs are sponsored by NASA funding provided to the meteorite lab and in collaboration with the Arlington Public Library, Hermiston Public Library, Echo Public Library and Oregon Trail Library District.

To date, five meteorites have been found in Oregon, with the only two ever found east of the Cascades having been identified this past year.

Scientists believe there is at least one meteorite lying on every square mile in Oregon. A fireball that exploded over northeast Oregon two years ago likely left a wide swath of small meteorites in its trail of debris as it blasted in from the west and moved east, Pugh said.

Anyone with a rock that is suspected of being a meteorite is encouraged to bring it to the program for identification. Meteorites are most often heavy for their size and are pitted and magnetic with a burnt surface. They often are quite valuable.

To learn more about Pugh and his international efforts for meteorite identification and education, go to www.meteorites.pdx.edu.

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