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Dinosaurs are still among us, that's why

Dinosaurs are still among us, that's why

Dinosaurs and antennae. Let's start with the “antennas”, the interacting galaxies called NGC 4038/4039 and C 60/61.

We'll get to dinosaurs later, but let's start with pneumatic It is located in the constellation Corvus, about 65 million light-years from the solar system. The two galaxies have been interacting for millions of years; Intense shock waves cause violent starburst (star formation) phenomena. In this way hundreds of superclusters of young and massive stars are produced that could become stars in the future Spherical clusters. Eventually the antennas will merge and we will have one big galaxy.

Dinosaur antenna galaxies
Credit: NASA

What do galaxies called “antennas” have to do with dinosaurs?

The answer is surprising. We talked a lot about The speed of light And distances; For this exact reason, when observing a star from Earth, for example 4 light years away, we say that what we see is light from 4 years ago. Something we don't often think about is that the same is true too! Let me explain better and get to the point (the GIF will give you an idea).

The speed of light
This line shows the speed of light From the Earth to the moon (about 384,000 km): takes about 1.28 seconds. Credit: song

Let us imagine that we are, at this moment, in one of the two galaxies that make up the antennas. And they are far from it Terra About 65 million light-years away. Now suppose we had a very powerful telescope capable of seeing the surface of the Earth, do you know what we would observe? Dinosaurs, is now on the verge of extinction! All of this is possible, as spaces are enormous and the speed of light is limited to 300 thousand kilometers per second. surprising!

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