astronomy, geology, and paleontology, Gya (for gigayears ago) is often used as an unit of timeto denote length of time before the present. Specifically, one Gya is equal to 109 years ago.
A unit identical to Gya is
bya(for "billion years ago"), which may be in more widespread use. However, some scientists prefer Gya because it uses the SIprefix giga-and thus avoids confusion over whether the short-scale (American) billion (109) or long-scale (British) billion (1012) is meant, as well as avoiding preference for one of the two definitions of billion over the other.
In some scientific literature, the term Gya has been replaced by Ga (
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