May 2014, Meteor Shower, Rhubarb Strawberry Crunch, Drum Rong Thai


New Meteor Shower Predicted For May 23rd-24th

That's right stargazers! Comet 209P/LINEAR, discovered in 2004, will be passing through our cosmic neighborhood this month. It is predicted that on the evening of May 23, and the morning of May 24, we will be able to see a brand new meteor shower filling out sky with "shooting stars" made of debris from the comet's tail. Interestingly, the debris we might see is not fresh debris left by the comet during its 2014 pass. Instead, Earth will be passing through a stream of cometary debris left behind by the same comet in the 1800s! We can probably hope to see around 200 meteors per hour during the shower. Some astronomers predict a meteor "storm" which could produce up to 1,000 per hour due to debris left behind by several of the comet's previous passes, though this is unlikely. People are already calling this shower the May Camelopardalids, taking its name from the shower’s radiant point in an obscure far- northern constellation. Remember, neither comets nor meteors are actual "shooting stars." Comets are extremely cold, icy objects much smaller than the planets. Most comets come from the Kueper Belt, a ring of icy objects encircling the sun way out past Neptune. This may sound like the much closer asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, but many Kueper Belt Objects or KBO's, are much larger than the objects in the asteroid belt. Some are so large that a new class of "dwarf planet" has been established in recent years. You may remember when Pluto was "demoted" to dwarf planet in 2006, well several similarly sized objects have been discovered and scientists expect there may be thousands of them out there in the dark. Kueper Belt objects are some of the oldest objects in our solar system. Sometimes, after billions of years of undisturbed orbit, a KBO gets pulled toward the sun by the gravity of another planet or a collision with another KBO, launching it into a slow spiral toward the sun. As these super cold objects get closer to the sun, they get warmer and thus begin to vaporize, leaving a spectacular tail of ice and dust in the path of its' orbit. Comets also form gas tails which "blow" away from the sun on the solar wind, but it is the dust tail that causes the meteor showers we stargazers love so much. As the Earth passes through these massive clouds the dust particles enter our atmosphere and burn up in a bright streak of light. So mark your calendars! There is a good chance we'll have quite a show on the night of the 23rd.

Rhubarb Strawberry Crunch

Here is a dilectable dish to try this summer! You might want to serve it with some vanilla ice cream.

    • 1 Cup White Sugar
    • 3 tablespoons all purpose flower
    • 3 cups sliced fresh strawberry
    • 3 cups diced rhubarb
    • 1&1/2 cups all purpose flower
    • 1 cup packed brown sugar
    • 1 cup butter
    • 1 cup rolled oats

      • Directions:
      • 1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
      • 2. In a large bowl, mix white sugar, 3 tablespoons flour, strawberries, and rhubarb. Place the mixture in a 9x13 inch baking dish.
      • 3. Mix 1 1/2 cups flour, brown sugar, butter, and oats until crumbly. You may want to use a pastry blender for this. Crumble on top of the rhubarb and strawberry mixture.
      • 4. Bake 45 minutes in the preheated oven, or until crisp and lightly browned.

Time For Thai

On the corner of 6th and Blair you'll notice something delightful, especially if you're hungry. If you're looking for a great new place to grab lunch and you like Thai food, the Drum Rong Thai cart may become your new favorite spot. The friendly owners serve up practical portions of delicious food and it is prepared fast. You can call in what you want and it will probably be ready when you arrive. More good news, the menu is very reasonably priced- you can grab a great meal for around $7.00! Order your food to go if you want or you can sit and enjoy your meal under the awning just outside the cart. You can't miss it, the brightly colored cart is nestled behind a bright blue fence on a little island surrounded by sidewalk. There is room enough for a couple of cars to park and there is some street parking in front of the HOSEA thrift shop just accross Adams street. If you think you're a little interested, I encourage you to stop by Drum Rong Thai and try something. I think you'll be pleased. Enjoy!

Keith Fox