Journey to the Sun Part 2-I could be "one billion years" old!!

I clutched her hand and said, "okay then let us go to the sun." "Great!" she said.

"But before we get going, I will prepare you for this super adventurous journey. You must understand what our universe is made of and what we are made of. Then you will realize why is the sun the way it is." She sounded like our guide from my recent field trip.

I still couldn't believe all this was happening for real. It seemed like a story from an adventure series I read at the library. Mom asked,"Are you ready?" I replied, "Yes! yes I am ready...."

She gently covered my eyes with her palms and said softly, "Imagine someone is shrinking you and you are very very small. Smaller than an ant. You are small enough to be an ATOM."

I quickly turned to ask, "Mom, what is an atom?" She answered, "An atom is like bricks for the whole universe. You, me , the sun, the moon, the plants, the animals, this air and everything around us is made up of atoms."

But I wondered, "What? the sun and the moon are non-living things while you and me are living things. So how can both living and non-living things be made of the same particles?"

"That's a good question Ray. To understand better, ATOMS are tiny particles that like to work in groups. Depending on how they group, they either form an ELEMENT or a MOLECULE which then become the building blocks for MINERALS and COMPOUNDS.

Just like so many lego blocks together make an object, in the same way, so many cells together make living organisms. What's amazing is each of those lego blocks and each of those cells are both made from MINERALS and COMPOUNDS.

Hmm...doesn't it sound like how grouping different letters together form words which then become the building blocks of a sentence?"

She continued to say, "If you made a tiny dot with the tip of a sharp pencil, that little dot would have about four billion atoms in it. Even the water we drink, food we eat and the air we breathe are all filled with atoms. The same atom which makes up our car also runs in our blood and helps my Ray fight all the yucky diseases."

All that I just heard made me say, "Wow! that's really cool. How many different atoms exist in this universe?"

"There are about 118 types of atoms which we know so far which make up the entire universe."

It made me feel very proud that my mom knew all this awesome stuff about my universe.

I then asked, "Why should I know all this to visit the sun? Is it where they came from?"

Mom was glad I asked this question. She said, "Ray, the story of where they came from is really the story of where we came from?

With my eyes wide open, I asked "Really mom?"

"Yes Ray, the scientists believe that the universe we live in today was made about 14 billion years ago.

It was kind of a big bang explosion which brought one big hot soup called 'PLASMA' into existence. As the universe cooled a little the individual particles, electrons, protons and neutrons began to form. While it cooled further, the first atoms known to man the Hydrogen atom came into existence .

Now what is cool Ray is that all the Hydrogen atoms present in this universe as of now were made right at that time, a few minutes after the big bang explosion. Which means 62% of us, are about 1 billion years old if you go by the origin of atoms!!"

I did not know what to say. This was something I had never heard of before. I hope she has a good reason to say that I could be 1 billion years old!


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