The Size of the Universe and Death

My son asked me last night how big was our universe, “The Milky Way”.  So, I took the time to explain the size of the solar system, size of our galaxy (Milky Way), and finally the size of our Universe.  I explained the number of stars in each as well.  I told him that it is more likely than not, that there is other intelligent beings in our universe and we just haven’t located them yet.  He seemed very impressed.  I told him about our Sun and how it will explode and whoever is alive at that time would have to find a new place to live. 

He looked at me with all seriousness in his eyes and said, “What are we going to do when the Sun explodes?”  How do you explain to a 10 yoa child that he won’t be alive at that time so don’t worry about it?  He is stressed about the whole sun dying idea, that I planted in his head, and he isn’t sleeping now.  I thought the information I gave him was not scary, but apparently I was wrong.  Children worry about things that we don’t usually give a second thought to. I remember the first time I realized my parents will die someday and that I would die as well, and it made me cry and sad for days.  I don’t want a replay of that.

I guess I should find out what my parents did when I asked the big questions as a child.  I want my kids to know as much as will fit in their little heads, but I sure don’t want them stressing over the Sun’s fate or other things they have no control over.


About kmandew

Computer Scientists Interested in Solving Problems
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