Sunday, May 29, 2022

The Galactic orbits

The Earth and all the other planets orbit around the Sun. However, our star does not remain stationary in space: it in turn orbits around the center of the Milky Way at a speed of 800,000 km/h. This means that in just 90 seconds we move 20,000 km along the orbit around the galactic center!

These numbers are impressive, but it must be considered that the Sun is about 26,000 light-years away from the galactic center. By doing the due math, our star completes a revolution in about 220 million years!

To give you an idea, the last time the Sun was in its current position, exactly one orbit ago, dinosaurs appeared on Earth. Since the formation of the Solar System, our star has made only about twenty revolutions around the galactic center.

Credit: University of Wisconsin.

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