When dinosaurs ruled Earth, the planet was on a completely different side of the galaxy.
New animation by NASA scientist Jesse Christiansen shows how long the reign of dinosaurs has lasted and how briefly the human age has been compared, as we track the movement of our solar system along the Milky Way.
Our Sun orbits the center of the galaxy, completing its rotation every 250 million years. Thus, the Christiansen animation shows that the last time our solar system was at its present point in the galaxy, the Triassic period was in full swing and dinosaurs were just beginning to emerge.
Many of the most iconic dinosaurs roam the Earth when the planet is a very different part of the Milky Way.
Christiansen got the idea to illustrate this story when he was staging a star party at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. The attendees were amazed when she mentioned that our solar system was across the galaxy when dinosaurs roamed.
"This was the first time I found out that those time scales ̵
The resulting video puts both deadlines in perspective:
I've always been interested in galactic archeology, but I don't think that's what they meant.
Did you know that dinosaurs live on the other side of the Galaxy? pic.twitter.com/ngGCAu0fYU
– Dr. Jesse Christiansen (@aussiastronomer) August 28, 2019
Christiansen said it took her about four hours to make the movie, using time animations in PowerPoint. She also noted a few minor corrections to the text in her video: the plesiosaurs are not dinosaurs, and we end the galactic orbit every 250 million years (not 200 million years).
"Spiraling through space"
However, galactic movement is more complex than shown in the video. The other stars and planetary systems in the galaxy also move at different speeds and in different orbits. The inner parts rotate faster than the outer regions.
Moreover, the galaxy itself moves through space, slowly approaching the nearby Andromeda galaxy.
"The animation kind of makes us look like we're back in the same place, but in fact the whole galaxy has moved a lot," Christiansen said.
"It's more like we make a spiral through space. As the entire galaxy moves and rotates around the center, it somehow creates this spiral. "
So when the solar system rotates around the galactic center, we don't go back to a fixed point, the Quarter is different from the last time we were here.
However, the earth is not drastically different; it still maintains a complicated life. This is partly due to the path of the galactic orbit of our sun.
"Our solar system does not travel to the center of the galaxy and then back again. We always stay this distance, "says Christiansen.
In other words, even when our solar system travels the Milky Way, it does not approach a hostile center where life is unlikely to survive.
many stars, it's dynamically unstable, there's a lot of radiation, "Christiansen said." Our solar system certainly does not go through this. "
This is a huge part of the reasons dinosaurs, mammals or any other form of Earth can exist on Earth. life.
This article was originally published
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