Friday, November 18, 2005

The Moon

The moon has been so beautiful the last two twilights. Last night around 5:00, it was the brightest orange and very big, just hanging over the hills. Tonight it was a bit a bit smaller, but very yellow.

I pointed it out to Grady (5 years old) and he asked some interesting and hard questions.

"Dad, who made the moon?"

"God did," I said, then added, "It was a miracle."

"But how did God make it?"

"That's the interesting thing about miracles, Grady, we don't
know how they happen," I answered.

Grady countered with: "I think he put a bunch of pieces together. Special pieces that stick together forever."

"That's probably right," I indulged.

30 second pause, while Grady continues to look at the moon.

"Dad, what would happen if fireworks hit the moon?" he asked.

"The moon is too far away to be hit by any fireworks."

"OK, but what if fireworks did hit the moon anyway?" he persisted.

"Well, if they did, the air would have cooled the sparks enough so it
wouldn't damage the moon."

"Oh. Dad, is the moon bigger than a 10-, no, an 18-foot giant?"

"Yes, it's bigger than even the whole state of Oregon. Bigger than
all of the United States. It's not as big as Earth, but it's much bigger
than it looks. It's thousands of miles away in space, constantly moving
around the Earth. It's called revolving."

"But how can the moon fly without any wings?"

Oh boy. I took a shot: "You know how the moon is responsible for the ocean
tides? ["Yes.] Well, it's the gravitational pull that causes that, and that's what
keeps the moon floating next to Earth."

"So it's like a magnet?" he smartly asked.

"Yes, Grady, just like a magnet."

I think I passed tonight's pop astronomy quiz. Phew.

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