We’re out back at night, behind our place on Mesquite Road, gazing up at the sky. Me, Bernie, Charlie.
“See,” says Bernie, pointing. “Right there.”
“That fuzzy line?” says Charlie. Fuzzy line? I don’t see it.
“Exactly,” says Bernie. “That’s the Milky Way galaxy. There are at least one hundred billion stars in it, including our sun.”
I still don’t see it. Milk has a special smell, real easy to identify. I sniff the air. Not the slightest whiff of milk.
“We’re in the Milky Way, Dad?”
“Way out at the edge. Which is probably a good thing – lots of powerful forces are in action toward the center. Just this week they found these two huge bubbles of energy that have exploded out from the core.”
Charlie squints at the sky. “What do they look like?”
“Can’t see them with the naked eye,” Bernie says. “They used a special telescope that picks up a kind of radiation called gamma rays. No one seems to have a clue yet about what this means, but apparently it’s not dark matter. One quarter of the universe is apparently made of dark matter, but it hasn’t actually been found yet. So it would be nice if dark matter starts showing up.”
“Are we ever going to understand everything, Dad?”
Bernie gives Charlie a long look, then musses up his hair. We all go back to gazing at the sky. I remember this woo-woo-woo thing I sometimes do at times like this.
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