Strange Science: Earth reaches Galactic Tick Day!

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Data pix.

HOUSTON — We all measure our time by increments of minutes, hours, days, months and years. Well, now it's time to think bigger. Get ready to add a new date to your calendar, and this holiday is truly a cosmic one

This Thursday, our whole solar system will be celebrating Galactic Tick Day.

No, it's not to salute some ridiculous super hero. The festivities revolve around the journey our sun — in addition to all eight planets and whatever little Pluto is these days — take around the galaxy.

Of course, one whole loop around the Milky Way takes us 225 million years to complete, and celebrating a full Galactic Year won't work with our schedules. So a group of scientists subdivided this huge galactic space trek into 360 degrees, which were then broken up into 60 arc-minutes and each arc-minute into 60 arc-seconds. That's roughly every 170 years. See that it was still a long time to wait for a party, the scientists divided the arc-second by 100 and called that fraction of time a Galactic Tick.

Galactic Tick Day happens roughly every 633 earth days or almost every two years. That's only about 0.0000077 percent of a full Galactic Year. Just goes to show you the incredible vastness of outer space. So happy travels around the Milky Way on Galactic Tick Day.

Now, if you're looking for an even bigger "trip", just know the our galaxy is also traveling around the even bigger universe. Sadly, that celebration will have to wait for another day.


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