How Would It Have Been to Look at the Stars in the Age of Dinosaurs?


If you are a lover of the sky, especially the night sky and you remain in total awe stargazing, the Field Museum gives you the chance to see the prehistoric sky from the age of dinosaurs. The renderings are now available for public viewing in the Tyrannosaurus Rex exhibit.

Nick Lake has created the video projection of the prehistoric sky, Theater Experience and Presentation Manager, and astronomer Mark SubbaRao. They used the planetarium’s Grainger and Definiti theaters by running software named Digistar to determine the location and movement of the stars in the Milky Way about 66 million years ago.

How Is Possible to Stargaze at the Sky During the Age of Dinosaur?

However, this project wasn’t so simple because the stars are moving across the galaxy in different directions and at different speeds. Those movements are visible over longer timescales and aren’t noticeable with the naked eye. The initial projections show that the location of the stars 150,000 years ago and the placements of the Teapot in Sagittarius and the Big Dipper are unrecognizable for stargazing today.

Moreover, the team had to consider all kind of factors for developing renderings from millions of years ago. The gravity in space, the different velocities that moved across the sky, the circular orbit of stars around the Milky Way, those are factors that had been taken into consideration. Having this set of dynamics to their project, it made it harder to execute at the same time.

Lake says that they hope to inspire people that visit the Field Museum to look closely at the projections and to be inspired by the scenes. This exciting experience is completed by Sue, the new dinosaur display that recreates the T-Rex fossil’s prehistoric environment. Also, Sue is companied by other ancient creatures that lived during the time, like fish, small mammals, and triceratops.


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