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Free meteorite program at library Dec. 11


   A free program on meteorites will be held in Madras and presented by Dick Pugh, scientist from the Cascadia Meteorite Laboratory of Portland State University.
   The program will be presented at the Jefferson County Public Library annex, 134 S.E. E Street at 6:30 p.m on Monday, Dec. 11. Persons of all ages are invited to attend.
   Pugh gives a 45-minute slide show and brings $15,000 worth of meteorites and encourages those attending his programs to pick up and handle these rocks from space. Pugh has traveled to several continents researching and identifying meteorites.
   Pugh says to date only four meteorites have ever been found in Oregon, yet scientists believe there is one meteorite lying on every half square mile in the state. "We're especially interested in eastern Oregon as meteorites would be easier to find on open parts of the high desert, as compared to forests elsewhere," Pugh said.
   "It's just a matter of time until one is found."
   Anyone who has found a rock that he or she believes may be a meteorite is asked to bring it to the program.
   Meteorites are often heavy, magnetic, pitted and have a surface that appears burnt from being hurled through space. Many are quite valuable.
   Meteorites belong to the owner of the land on which they are found.
   Pugh has presented his program in a few dozen communities in eastern Oregon, sponsored by the nonprofit Libraries of Eastern Oregon (LEO) with funding provided to LEO through The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI).
   OMSI and LEO have formed a program called STARS - Science, Technology and Rural Students, which includes bringing programs to schools and public libraries in 14 counties served by LEO.
   The program at Madras is offered in collaboration with the Jefferson County Public Library, a member of LEO.
   For further information, please contact Sally Beesley, Jefferson County Library District director at 541-475-3351 or Lyn Craig, LEO director at 541-763-2355.