What’s up there Dex

What’s up there Dex?

Up where, Len dog.

There?

Stars matey.

Stars? what are they?

Well, I think most of them are planets outside of the solar system that we live in.

So, how far away are they?

Ugh, a long way little buddy.

A long way? Like, further than going to grandads house?

Oh yes, much further than grandads house and probably further than you came from Cyprus.

Wow, that was quite a long way Dex. Can we travel to these planets or stars.

No, we cant. They are so far away that not even the humans can get to them.

Do you think humans will get to other planets one day?

Probably, but not in our lifetime. I don’t think they will get to the far away stars as they are something called light years away. A light year is about a thousand human years. We usually live for about 12-15 human years.

So, these stars which are planets, does anyone live there?

No not as far as the humans know. They think they are all incapable of sustaining human life as there isn’t any air or water or food.

But that doesn’t mean that other creatures don’t live there, you know these alien things that people speak of.

I think you’ve been watching too many films young Len dog.

So, how did the planets that are stars become planets and stars.

Well, that is quite a long story but I can woof that I think it was about 100,000,000,000 years ago there was a load of rock and debris all floating around being molten and hot in outer space. Then there was a big explosion and all the bits of the explosion started forming together and made planets. We live on one of those planet things but ours became habitable as it got these things called an atmosphere and water, air and plants.

So this 100,000,000,000 years, is that older than our human dad.

Very good Len dog, but yes it is older than dad. Don’t let him hear you woof that.

Dex, do you think there is intelligent life out there, you know, in the darkness in between those stars and on the star planets?

I am not sure, little buddy. If you mean intelligent compared to humans, then possibly. Compared to dogs though, I have my doubts.

Hee hee, dont let them hear you woof that Dex.

So how come they are all twinkly at night but all disappear during the day, Dex?

Well, thats because the earth goes around the sun and we have this day and night stuff. We run around all day being silly and play and then we are supposed to go to sleep at night when its all dark and quiet. Our planet goes around the sun which is that big orange thing that keeps us all warm. Going around the sun is called orbiting it. Whilst orbiting the sun we also spin around our own axis so we have night and day. During the day time we are facing the sun and we cannot see the stars, but during night time we are facing away from the sun so the stars show up and we can see them.

So the stars go to bed during our day time then, Dex?

No silly. The stars don’t have things like bedtime or dinner time, they are always there, it’s just that we cannot see them.

So, what about the ones that fly across the sky?

Well, those are meteors or asteroids and they are usually really big bits of rock that have broken away from their planet and decided they want to go on an adventure. I think they get a bit warm when they fly across our night sky which is why we see them.

So if one of them hit the earth, what would happen?

Oh that’s easy. Depending on how big the meteor is, it would either just crash land into the earth or if its really big, it would blow us up and we wouldn’t be here any more.

So whats the one called that I see most nights?

Ah, that’s called the Moon. Its always there and man has been to that one and stood on it. They had to wear a special suit so they could breathe as there isn’t any air up there. It took them ages to get there, about three days I think. No one lives on that one, its like a big round rock that is always there, held by our gravity.

What’s gravity?

Gravity is the stuff that keeps you on the earth. It’s like the atmosphere around the earth, the air that you breathe and it pushes you down to make sure you don’t float away into outer space. A man called Newton invented it, when an apple fell on his head. Sorry, he discovered it, silly me.

Thanks Dex. I am still none the wiser, but its fun listening to you sometimes. I think I need to rest my brain. Shall we have a game of bitey face first?