Five years ago, we went to visit our family in southwestern New Mexico and I made sure to download the Google Skymap app before I got there.

If you've never been to the western United States, let me tell you that DARKNESS takes on a whole new meaning. My friend Trace described it best by saying that, out west, the dark "bends down the light." Great description.

And if you're driving on a desolate road out night, your headlights STILL won't seem bright enough on their highest setting.

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But that's what makes stargazing so much better out there--that, and the fact that you're about a MILE closer to the sky.

So I'll be taking my smartphone with me to whatever open area we can find late, LATE Wednesday night so we can observe the Perseid meteor shower. And since we're not expecting any rain that evening, we shouldn't have any trouble seeing it.

By the way, here's a quick screenshot to show you how it works:

Google Skymaps

That's from right now and it's daytime so I can't see any of that, but you get the idea. And it looks like the Perseids are near the horizon line at the moment.

Now, if you're in Owensboro or western Kentucky or anywhere, I guess, Space.com recommends you find a wide-open space so you can see as much sky as possible. Also, it really needs to be dark. Since we're talking post-midnight, that's not a problem as far as the sky is concerned, but I guess the website means we need to stay away from porch lights and streetlights--that sort of thing.

This is exciting. The other night, we were able to see the International Space Station fly over and it was very cool. It was also very faint, but we saw it.

It's meteor week and I'm here for it.

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