A California man has come up with a unique way to mark the passage of time. While most of us think in terms of months (that were originally based on the movement of the moon) and years (which follow the Earth's path around the sun), he decided to think even bigger.
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That is, the path the sun takes around the center of our galaxy, the Milky Way. It's an incredibly long journey, taking 225 million Earth years every rotation. To put that in perspective, the last time we were in this spot in the rotation, the dinosaurs were just starting up on our planet.
David Sneider's innovation is to break up that rotation into tiny bits, which he calls "galactic ticks." It takes 360 degrees to proceed through an orbit. Each degree can be broken up into 60 minutes and each minute into 60 seconds. A galactic tick is one centi-arcsecond, or about every 633.7 days (1.7361 years). He'll celebrate our next galactic tick on Sept. 29.
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"This is not a commercial project," Sneider said in an e-mail to Discovery News. "(We're) just doing it because our scale in the universe is amazing and its recognition can have untold positive repercussions for us humans."