So the news reached us all at the weekend that Neil Armstrong (82), the first man to set foot on the moon had passed away. I wasn’t around to see the lunar landings for myself, but during my teens I did have a huge interest in all things astronomical, which I still have to an extent today. I find the whole concept of stars, planets, galaxies mind blowing, and proves really that us humans are really just insignificant specks of dust in the grand scheme of things.
A few nights ago, after discussing with my 10 year old that there was a cache on the ISS (International Space Station) (how I’d love to be able to log that as a find!), he started quizzing me on his way to bed about how did stars die.
Now I could remember the vague outlines of this process, ie a supernova occurs, and then it collapses in on itself and results in a black hole. Of course this depends on the size of the star in the 1st place. A fact my 10 Yo went on to inform me…..
‘No that’s not quite right’
‘go on then, you tell me how a star dies’
and he then went on to to say about it depends on the size of the star so you’d get it forming a white dwarf and then it would eventually cool down turning into a black dwarf. Only really big stars supernova, with the chance it will then collapse forming a black hole……..
Well that’s me told then, although I did point out that in fact I was kind of right, but he wasn’t having that and then proceeded to ask me if I knew how long it took Pluto to orbit the sun!
Funnily enough I did get that wrong, as it’s been a very long time since I studied all things space related and I’ve had to process lots of other info in that time so I actually can’t remember those kind of facts any more.
So I think I was more amazed by the fact that he knew this kind of stuff, so who knows, maybe one day he’ll get to visit the ISS and claim the cache find, or maybe he could be the next Neil Armstrong, and after the landing on Mars recently and talk of the possibilities of sending an astronaut there, maybe it will be the now 10 year old taking that ‘small step for man, one giant leap for mankind’ in the future.