4th period Astronomy
Still wanting more knowledge about space, Ryan and Estelle decided to begin a new adventure.
The solar system had yet to be explored and these two wanted to be the first.
“What planet should we visit first?” asked Estelle
“I say we go in order from closest to the sun to farthest”
And so they were off
The trip definitely took its fair share of preparation. From designing their space suits to packaging astronaut food Ryan and Estelle knew it would be worth the work.
The first planet they visited was good old Mercury.
We wanted to see the sunset from Mercury but since it takes 59 days for it to turn from day to night on Mercury, the two decided not to waste precious time in the obliterating heat of the planet.
Next was Venus. Estelle was especially excited to explore this planet considering it was the brightest of them all. At first it was a struggle getting to its surface due to the prominence of its thick atmosphere. While being there they discovered that like the Earth’s moon the planet had phases.
Because the earth has already been explored for thousands of years, Ryan and Estelle decided to skip their homeland and moved straight to Mars. Ryan was excited to visit this red planet in particular because he’s always found it a little bit spooky. They searched for hours to try and find extraterrestrial life but came at a blank. Hesitantly they decided to move on to their next destination.
“Isn’t Jupiter the largest planet, Estelle? How will we ever get to explore the whole thing?”
“AND time moves much slower there, Ryan!”
“Let’s go check it out!!” replied Ryan enthusiastically
As they were wandering around they happened upon heavy winds. They had heard rumors about Jupiter’s big red spot but they had no idea that it was actually an ongoing storm of astronomical power. They fled immediately to avoid getting sucked up into the raging tempest.
Saturn was up next. Estelle went on and on about Saturn’s spectacular bling and always wanted to try it on for herself. When they got closer to the planet Ryan broke the news to Estelle that Saturn’s rings were in fact composed of massive ice shards. To cheer her up, Ryan had the bright idea of breaking out their trusty ice-skates to make their time on Saturn worthwhile.
Saturn was going to be a hard planet to beat but they were still hopeful for their experience on Uranus. During their stay they learned a lot about the planet. Both Ryan and Estelle being fans of Shakespeare were enamored with the fat that most of Uranus’s seven moons were named after characters in Shakespeare's Midsummer Night’s Dream. They took off
“We are almost to the end of our solar system” exclaimed Estelle as they left Uranus.
“I know! I can’t believe how surreal this experience has been” agreed Ryan
They progressively made their way to the last planet, Neptune, the coldest of them all.
Neptune was a hit. Ryan loved the deep blue color that it radiated, and Estelle was mesmerized by its name because she adored Greek Mythology.
When they boarded the rocket ship after their journey the two were a mix of excited and nostalgic about the trip coming to an end. They had discovered so many exciting and interesting things . They just couldn't wait to get back to Earth to share their findings as the first explorers of our grand solar system.
Now that Ryan and Estelle covered our solar system, they decided they wanted to move onto bigger things. Estelle has always wanted to learn more about different kinds of galaxies.
“Ryan can we pleaseeee go see an ELLIPTICAL Galaxy?”
“That's the one I wanted to see first too! Let's start packing”
Together they planned their trip and got on their way to the M32 Elliptical Galaxy about 2.65 million light years away.
As they approached the Galaxy they just sat to take in the immense and blindingly bright beauty of the Galaxy. It was shocking and almost overwhelming for the two to witness an entirely different Galaxy than our familiar Milky Way. They decided they had to see more and made plans to find an irregular Galaxy.
It was difficult deciding between the Messier object M82 and the Large Magellanic Cloud that orbits the Milky Way. But alas, the two determined that going closer to home would be convenient for the trip back, since it was already on the way. And so, they flew to the Large Magellanic Cloud and basked in the glory of the young random stars that composed the Galaxy.
“This Galaxy reminds me of my room when mom says there's too many Legos on the floor.” said Ryan.
“It reminds me of when I spill all my earrings out of my jewelry box in my bathroom” replied Estelle.
They sat for hours trying to count all the bright stars, fighting back yawns as they reached the thousands and realized they were nowhere close to being finished. They decided reluctantly that it was time to go home, even though they didn't get to see a spherical Galaxy. They could always save that adventure for tomorrow.