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A Shy Superstar? It’s OK to be ordinary. Even our awesome Sun is ordinary. As stars go, the Sun is of average size. It is middleaged, even though it is about 5 billion years old. The long and stable life of this average star has warmed Earth and provided just the right amount of energy to support life like us. Average is more than OK! Totally not average is a star that scientists recently discovered. This one shines with the light of 3.2 million Suns! It is the second brightest star in our galaxy. It is called the Peony Nebula star. So, if the Peony Nebula superstar is so bright, why did it take so long to discover it? Because the Peony Nebula star has been hiding in the Peony Nebula! A nebula is a cloud of gas and dust in space. The Peony Nebula is a particularly thick cloud, and very little visible light can break through the dust. This Spitzer Space Telescope image shows the thick, dusty But infraPeony Nebula near the center of our Milky Way Galaxy. red light can Hiding inside it (shown in the white circle in the cutout) is the get through the galaxy’s second brightest known star, the Peony Nebula star. dust. This kind of light is not visible to our eyes, but we do feel it as heat. NASA operates a special telescope, called the Spitzer Space Telescope, that is able to see the infrared light through the dust cloud. Scientists used the Spitzer, along with another telescope in South America, to discover the true brightness of the Peony Nebula star. Superstars such as the Peony have short, intense lives compared to our Sun. They are like ticking time bombs. They burn their fuel rapidly—in just a few million years—and then, kablooey! They explode in a spectacular supernova. There could be many more stars like this hiding in the dust clouds of our Milky Way Galaxy. The Spitzer Space Telescope will help to find them. Read about Lucy, the girl who dreamed of using a telescope like the Spitzer to look for unknown planets. Go to en/kids/spitzer/lucy. This article was written by Diane K. Fisher. It was provided by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.


KIDSVILLE KITCHEN Together Time — Ask an adult for help with projects!

Budget-Friendly Family Meals As Americans see food and gas prices continue to rise, there’s good news for families looking for affordable meal options. Grocery bills and restaurant and fast-food meals can really add up, but families can prepare nutritious, convenient meals inexpensively at home. Believe it or not, there are quick and easy recipes that can feed a family of six for around $2 per person. Even better, this recipe from Pampered Chef can be made in only 30 minutes, using nine ingredients or less. The Deluxe Cheeseburger Salad proves healthy enough for parental approval and tasty enough for kids.


• 4 sesame seed hamburger buns • 1 small red onion, divided • 2 plum tomatoes • 3/4 pound 95 percent lean ground beef • 1/2 cup finely diced pickles • 3/4 cup ketchup • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard • 8 cups thinly sliced romaine lettuce • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese HOW TO MAKE IT (makes 6 servings):

• Preheat the oven to 425º F. Slice the bun tops into 1/4 inch strips. Arrange the buns in a single layer on a large bar pan; then bake them until they look toasted, about eight to 10 minutes. Allow the buns to cool. • (With adult help!) Use a mandoline or a sharp knife to cut half of the onion into thin rings. Cut tomatoes into quarters lengthwise and slice crosswise. In a sauté pan, cook the ground beef over medium-high heat for five to seven minutes or until the meat becomes brown. Break the beef into crumbles. Chop the remaining onion. Finely dice pickles. In a large bowl, combine the onion, pickles, ketchup and mustard. Add the cooked ground beef, and mix well. • To serve, put the lettuce on a large platter, and then spoon the beef mixture over the lettuce. Top the salad with cheese, tomatoes and sliced onion. Arrange the toasted hamburger buns around the edge of the plate and serve. For a free download of more high-value recipes that cost around $2 per serving, visit Courtesy of NewsUSA and Pampered Chef.


APRIL 2009

Kidsville News - April 2009  
Kidsville News - April 2009