Zooming Through The Universe

@< field1 > @< field2 >, age @< field3 >, from
@< field4 >, @< field5 >, had spent all day
with @< field6 > playing a game of
miracles. @< field1 > strongly believed
that a real miracle would happen to him
one day.
That night, as he prepared for bed, he
heard strange sounds outside. He ran to
the window and couldn’t believe his eyes
when he realized that there was a large
space shuttle right in his backyard.

As he watched, beautiful, funny creatures
appeared from the space craft and one of
them said to @< field1 >. “We are your
friends from Space and we have come to
take you on a tour through the Solar
system. Would you like that?”
@< field1 > nodded.
“Hop on board!” they all yelled.
@< field1 > was astonished! He briskly ran
into their space shuttle before they could
change their mind.

So smooth was the launch that @< field1 >
did not even realize that they had taken
off.
As they zoomed through space, @< field1 >
was fascinated by all the new sights and
sounds around him. He was immediately
enchanted by a small space robot named
Zoto.
Zoto led @< field1 > to a big window from
where they could see the whole solar
system. He pointed to the planets and
began to speak in a strange, unearthly
voice.

“The Sun is the source of life for all
because it gives warmth and light. There
are nine planets travelling around the
Sun. The nine planets and the Sun make up
the solar system. The path a planet
follows around the Sun is called its
orbit. The first planet, Mercury, races
around in its orbit at a dizzying speed.
It is covered by craters and has no water
at all,” Zoto explained.
@< field1 > was amazed at everything he was
seeing and wished that @< field6 > were
there to see it too.

“Venus is the closest planet to Earth and
it’s about the same size as Earth. You
can’t really see its surface because a
thick layer of yellow cloud surrounds it.
The Sun shines on these clouds so Venus
looks very bright in the sky. You can see
it just before the Sun rises or just after
it sets. And of course, there is planet
Earth, your home. Most of Earth is
covered with water. Earth has one big
Moon. Its size causes gravitation, which
in turn causes the oceans to have tides,”
said Zoto.

“Look at the red planet Mars! It is made
of rock which contains a lot of iron. The
rusted iron makes the planet look red.
Mars has the biggest volcano in the solar
system. It is much higher than the
tallest volcano on Earth,” Zoto explained.
@< field1 > was taken aback by the asteroid
belt. “Asteroids are like small planets. Beyond
the asteroid belt is Jupiter, the biggest
planet in the solar system. Jupiter is
made of hot, swirling gases. Spaceships
cannot land on Jupiter because it would be
like landing on a cloud!” said Zoto.

“Wow! I never imagined anything as great
as this!” @< field1 > exclaimed.
“Wait till you see the planet Saturn and
its colourful rings.” Zoto told him.
“Saturn is the second largest planet in
the Solar system, but it is also the
lightest. In fact, Saturn would probably
float on water if there was enough
water to put it in. Another fascinating
thing is that Saturn has twenty-two moons,
more than any other planet!” he explained.

“This is really something!” @< field1 > was
enthralled.
Zoto only smiled and continued to explain.
“Uranus is interesting, too. Its surface
is a superheated ocean of water. The
blue-green colour comes from its gases and,
like Saturn, it is surrounded by rings.”
@< field1 > suddenly saw the giant blue
planet Neptune, which inspired the ancient
people to name it after the god of the
deep blue sea.

But time was passing and they had to move
on to the last planet, Pluto.
“Pluto is farthest from the Sun. It is a
small planet, even smaller than Mercury
and it is solid like Earth,” explained
Zoto. “Beyond Pluto, there are billions
of stars. All stars belong to giant
groups called galaxies. The Sun is one
of billions of stars in your galaxy. Your
galaxy is one of billions of galaxies in
space. It is a very, very big universe!”
he continued.

Soon it was time for @< field1 > to go back
home, to planet Earth. He couldn’t wait
to tell @< field6 > about his adventure.
He had had the time of his life.
@< field1 > especially thanked Zoto for
showing him all the planets in the solar
system. But most of all, he was thankful
to his new extraterrestrial friends for
the miracle they had given him. Sometimes
miracles do happen!