Cometary Cooking Class is Cool
At the Franklin Park Reserve in New Jersey,
two youngsters try their hand at cooking up a comet
under the direction of the Willingboro Astronomical Society.
(Credit: Joe Stieber)

Spaceship Earth is currently passing through the dust and debris of Comet Swift-Tuttle, commonly known as the Perseid meteor shower. It happens every year about this time.
For the International Year of Astronomy 2009 in August, we're serving up some savory bits. Find out how your local Night Sky Network club is cooking up a storm.

Bernie Hosko of the Willingboro Astronomical Society demonstrated how to make a comet. He exclaimed: "I presented Cooking up a Comet, which was a big hit and a very successful learning activity."

Richard Owens of the Rolling Hills Observatory Club in Missouri, held an event for the Perseids meteor shower. Richard had this to say about the event: "This was a large church youth group event with mostly teens and kids. We handed out star maps, and observing lists. Our group had spectacular views from the telescopes at the observatories. We gave a tour of the sky and showed the group where the meteors would come from."

At Piney Run Park in Maryland, mild mannered school teacher Skip Bird, of the Westminster Astronomical Society, Inc. transformed himself into the "Comet Chef" defender of the asteroid, upholder of the organic goo and smasher of solid carbon dioxide. Skip commented: "It was another rainy night here so instead of having to cancel the event, I made a mondo comet about a foot across. It smoked, sputtered and cracked the whole time. The kids were enthralled and learned lots."

Check out this month's International Year of Astronomy
Featured Observing Object: Rocks and Ice in the Solar System by using this guide.

Next, find your local astronomy club and get cooking too.