Dinosaurs Lived On The Other Side Of The Galaxy, NASA Astrophysicist Demonstrates


Cleopatra lived closer in time to the creation of the hit TV show RuPaul's Drag Race than she did to the construction of the Great Pyramid at Giza. Also, Oxford University is older than the Aztecs (Oxford began teaching in 1096, the Aztecs were around from about 1300).

Here's one more example for you to mess with your sense of time, as a NASA scientist has recently pointed out on Twitter: When dinosaurs roamed the Earth, they did so on the other side of the freaking galaxy.

As you all know, just as the Earth rotates around the Sun, the Sun (with all the planets in tow) rotates around the center of the galaxy. We're moving at around 828,000 kilometers (514,500 miles) per hour, at a distance of about 28,000 light-years from the galactic center. We'll save you the trouble of trying to recite the exact figure of Pi from memory and performing your own calculations and reveal that this means we take around 230 million years (estimates put it somewhere between 225 to 250 million Earth years) to complete an orbit around the galactic center of the Milky Way.

That's an unfathomable amount of time. To make it even more unfathomable (or possibly less, we can't quite decide) that means that many of the dinosaurs lived on the other side of the galaxy to us. What's more, from the time of the plesiosaurs (not actually dinosaurs but rather large swimming reptiles) to the extinction event that wiped out the last dinosaurs, the Solar System had moved three-quarters of the way around the galactic center.

As this animation created by NASA astrophysicist Dr Jessie Christiansen shows, the dinosaur eras were looooooong. For instance, there's a bigger time gap between the stegosaurus and the Tyrannosaurus rex than there is between T. rex and us.

"I have always been interested in galactic archaeology, but I don't think this is what they meant," wrote NASA research scientist Dr Jessie Christiansen, tweeting out the clip. "Did you know that dinosaurs lived on the other side of the Galaxy?"


Dr Christiansen says she created the animation for fun in a few spare hours, not in any official capacity, in case you were wondering if NASA was working on some sort of space dinosaur project. 


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