Wednesday, June 18, 2014


this is the image for the Cosmic Calender used on the new Cosmos series. It's a lovely piece, but I think it's meant to be a poster or something because you can't read what happens on the various dates so here goes nothing. On both programs they put a tiny little lighted square at the bottom of the last day of the year to represent the last minute and last seconds. That little lighted square is where all human history happens.

The Cosmic calendar compresses the 13.8 billion year history of the cosmos into one year. Each month is just over a billion years and each day approximately forty million years.

Date      BYA                Event

Jan 1     13.8                 The Big Bang as seen through cosmic background radiation

Mar 1    5 11                 Milky Way Galaxy formed

Aug 31   4.57                 The sun turns on planets and our moon form soon after

Sep 16    4 0                   Oldest rocks known on Earth

Sep 21    3.8                   First life (organisms without a nucleus)

Oct 12     3.0                  Photosynthesis

Oct 29     2.4                  Oxygen in the atmosphere

Nov 9     2.0                  First cells with a nucleus

Dec 5     1.0                   First multicelled organisms

Dec 14   0.67                 Simple animals and ancestors of insects and arachnids

Dec 18   0.5                   Fish and ancestors of amphibians

Dec 20  0.45                 Land plants (no flowers)

Dec 21  0.4                    Insects and seeds

Dec 22  0.36                  Amphibians

Dec 23  0.3                    Reptiles

Dec 26  0.2                   Mammals

Dec 27  0.15                 Birds

Dec 28  0.13                 Flowers

Dec 30  0.065               At approximately 6.24 in the age of the dinosaurs ended

Dec 30  0.65                 The first primates

All early human and human evolution takes place on December 31. At 6.05 AM (15 million years ago) the first apes make the scene. At about 2.24 PM (12.3 million years ago) what can be identified as an early hominid. At about 10.24 PM (2.5 million years ago) primitive humans and the first stone tools.

In the last minute of December 31, less than a million years ago, we domesticated fire, modern humans appeared, the last ice age began and we started carving objects and painting.

In the last second of the last minute we learned how to make plants grow where we wanted them to. Learned how to harness water through dams and canals. Everything in the history books, all the people we know about. All the cities, wars, religions have taken place in the last seconds of the last minute of December 31 on the cosmic calendar including modern science, two world wars, other little wars, the moon landings and the Voyager missions. Humbling isn’t it.

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