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Cosmic Calender - The Universe in a year


Carl Sagan (1934-1996). Sagan was the first person to explain the history of the universe in one year-as a "Cosmic Calendar"-in his television series, Cosmos.

Astrophysicists have deduced the age of the Universe (dated from the Big Bang) to be 13.7 BILLION YEARS!










Carl Sagan (1934-1996). Sagan was the first person to explain the history of the universe in one year-as a "Cosmic Calendar"-in his television series, Cosmos.

The Cosmic Calendar is a scale in which the lifetime of the universe, 15 billion years, is mapped onto a calendrical year; that is to say, the Big Bang took place on a cosmic January 1 at precisely midnight, and today's date and time is December 31 at midnight.


On this calendar, the solar system did not appear until September 9, life on Earth arose on September 30, the first dinosaurs appeared on December 25th, the first flowers on December 28th, and the first primates on December 30. The first humans did not arrive until around 10:30 p.m. on New Year's Eve, and all of human history has been recorded in the last minute. The Middle Ages to the present is a little more than one second.


On this timescale, an average human life is about 0.15 seconds. The scale was popularized by Carl Sagan in his book The Dragons of Eden and on the television series Cosmos, which he hosted.







Big Bang January 1
Origin of Milky Way Galaxy May 1
Origin of the solar systemSeptember 9
Formation of the EarthSeptember 14
Origin of life on Earth~ September 25
Formation of the oldest rocks known on EarthOctober 2
Date of oldest fossils (bacteria and blue-green algae)October 9
Invention of sex (by microorganisms)~ November 1
Oldest fossil photosynthetic plantsNovember 12
Eukaryotes (first cells with nuclei) flourishNovember 15


December

Sunday MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturday

1
Significant
oxygen
atmosphere
begins to
develop on
Earth.
2 345
Extensive
vulcanism and
channel
formation on
Mars.


6
7
 
8 910111213
14
 
1516
First Worms.

17
Precambrian
ends.
Paleozoic Era
and Cambrian
Period begin.
Invertebrates
flourish.
18
First oceanic
plankton.
Trilobites
flourish.
19
Ordovician
Period. First
fish, first
vertebrates.
20
Silurian Period.
First vascular
plants. Plants
begin
colonization of
land.
21
Devonian
Period begins.
First insects.
Animals begin
colonization
of land.

 
22
First
amphibians.
First winged
insects.
23
Carboniferous
Period. First
trees. First
reptiles.
24
Permian
Period begins.
First
dinosaurs.


25
Paleozoic Era
ends.
Mesozoic Era
Begins.
26
Triassic
Period. First
mammals.
27
Jurassic
Period. First
birds.
28
Cretaceous
Period. First
flowers.
Dinosaurs
become
extinct.



 
29
Mesozoic Era
ends.
Cenozoic Era
and Tertiary
Period begin.
First
cetaceans.
First primates.
30
First
evolution of
frontal lobes
in the brains
of primates.
First
hominids.
Giant
mammals
flourish.
31
End of
Pliocene
Period.
Quaternary
(Pleistocene
and
Holocene)
Period. First
humans.



 

December 31

Origin of Proconsul and Ramapithecus, probable ancestors of apes and
men
~ 1:30 p.m.
First humans~ 10:30 p.m.
Widespread use of stone tools11:00 p.m.
Domestication of fire by Peking man11:46 p.m.
Beginning of most recent glacial period11:56 p.m.
Seafarers settle Australia11:58 p.m.
Extensive cave painting in Europe11:59 p.m.
Invention of agriculture11:59:20 p.m.
Neolithic civilization; first cities11:59:35 p.m.
First dynasties in Sumer, Ebla and Egypt; development of astronomy11:59:50 p.m.
Invention of the alphabet; Akkadian Empire11:59:51 p.m.
Hammurabic legal codes in Babylon; Middle Kingdom in Egypt11:59:52 p.m.
Bronze metallurgy; Mycenaean culture; Trojan War; Olmec culture; invention
of the compass
11:59:53 p.m.
Iron metallurgy; First Assyrian Empire; Kingdom of Israel; founding of
Carthage by Phoenicia
11:59:54 p.m.
Asokan India; Ch'in Dynasty China; Periclean Athens; birth of Buddha11:59:55 p.m.
Euclidean geometry; Archimedean physics; Ptolemaic astronomy; Roman
Empire; birth of Christ
11:59:56 p.m.
Zero and decimals invented in Indian arithmetic; Rome falls;
Birth of Islam and the Islamic Civilization
11:59:57 p.m.
Mayan civilization; Sung Dynasty China; Byzantine empire; Mongol invasion;
Crusades
11:59:58 p.m.
Renaissance in Europe; voyages of discovery from Europe and from Ming
Dynasty China; emergence of the experimental method in science
11:59:59 p.m.
Widespread development of science and technology; emergence of global
culture; acquisition of the means of self-destruction of the human species; first
steps in spacecraft planetary exploration and the search of extraterrestrial
intelligence
Now: The first
second of New
Year's Day



 

Within the scheme of the Cosmic Calendar, an average human life of 70-80 years is equivalent to approximately 0.16 cosmic seconds!


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