Monday, December 1, 2008


As we left Moe's tonight, Noel remarked on the crescent moon, hanging low in the eastern sky. Beside it were two points of light -- one bright below, and one dimmer above.

"Archer, do you know what those stars are?" I said, suddenly remembering the 30-second snippet of Weather Channel I'd watched that morning. "The bright one is Venus, and the dim one is Jupiter. Those are planets!"

All the way home Archer informed us that he could see the dark part of the moon (absolutely possible -- the Earth's daylight side actually throws some light onto it), how big around the various planets are ("Earth is 8000 miles long, but Jupiter is 80,000 miles long"), how many miles away they are ("millions and millions"), how big around the Sun is ("800,000 miles long") and how there is a star even bigger than the Sun (he called it "Bettle-goose" -- "Three hundred million miles long!").

"Is there are star even bigger than that?" he asked.

"I'm sure there probably is," I replied. "The universe is a big place."

"Yeah," he agreed. "The universe is infinity miles long."

(To which Cady Gray replied, in her usual definitive way: "Mom, infinity means one trillion.")

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