When dinosaurs roamed the Earth, the planet was on a completely different side of the galaxy, NASA scientist Jessie Christiansen revealed.
A new animated video, created by Dr. Christiansen, shows how long the era of dinosaurs lasted and how short the reign of human beings has been by tracing the movement of our solar system through the Milky way galaxy. The giant creatures roamed the Earth for roughly 177 million years, and by comparison, humankind has been present on Earth for mere five million years.
The sun, along with the planetary system, is actually travelling around the Milky Way galaxy at an average speed of 230 kilometers per second. It takes the solar system roughly 250 million years to complete a trip, and during that time the entire Milky Way is travelling through the universe.
“The animation kind of makes it seem like we have come back to the same spot, but in reality, the whole galaxy has moved a long way,” says Dr. Christiansen, in a statement published by Business Insider. “It’s more like we are doing a spiral through space. As the whole galaxy is moving and we’re rotating around the center, it, kind of, creates this spiral.”
Christiansen got the idea to illustrate this history when she was leading a stargazing party at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. Attendees were stunned when she mentioned that our solar system was across the galaxy when dinosaurs roamed.
However, dinosaur’s loss was humanity’s gain. With no large predators, small mammals began to thrive, which eventually led to the evolution of humans millions of years down the line.