Every August, the Northern Hemisphere experiences a swarm of meteors called the Perseids. But the show will be over in the next couple of days, so make sure to get outside once it turns dark.
Some prime locations to view the meteors include Smith Rock State Park, the desert areas east of Bend (off U.S. Highway 20 or China Hat Road) and the shores of the larger Cascade lakes — all places where there's little light pollution.
• As soon as it's dark, look to the east. Meteors appear to come from the top of the constellation Perseus. The best viewing is reportedly between 1 and 2 a.m.
• Also look for the planet Mars near Taurus. It will shine like a bright red star.
• They're not stars at all, of course: The Perseids are fragments of the comet Swift-Tuttle. Every August, Earth passes through these fragments, causing the meteor shower.
Sources: Tycho Brahe Planetarium, Sky and Telescope, Astronomy magazine, NASA, Bulletin reporting Graphic &Copy; 2009 MCT