Our Miniature History, the Cosmic Calendar, and Understanding One’s Place

When considering the greater span of history, starting with my first Astronomy class taught by Professor Weintraub “How Old Is the Universe?” the concept of the nature of time in space has fascinated me. I think part of this relates to the fact that I am a history major and a history buff, and therefore inherently fascinated by time in general. I am drawn to astronomy particularly because of its relationship to the ultimate history, being the history of everything which can and does exist. It was when I was initially approached by the Cosmic Calendar, and the ways in which it helps truly conceptualize the incredible vastness of the past in such a manifold way, that I began to connect with the universal spectrum.

cosmic-calendar-image
Cosmos’ Portrayal of the Cosmic Calendar – To view this image, click here. I do not claim to own or have edited/altered this image in any way.

January 1, 00:00, the Big Bang. From there, days span nearly 40 million years each, which each month representing nearly a billion years in total. In this way, we can understand even slightly more clearly the complexity of the universal history. It is hard to conceptualize a scale in which our entire recorded history takes up nothing but the last fifteen seconds. And yet, that is all the space that we take up in the temporal history of the universe. In this way, I find the Cosmic Calendar the most effective way to truly understand the amount of weight that Earth has in the greater span of everything. It seems to me to be the most compelling argument for life outside of Earth. Our Milky Way, a massive galaxy out of which we have never travelled, was only beginning its formation on May 11, and summer passed before our Sun and Solar System was made on September 1. I have a hard time believing that in this vast history of the universe, with our human race having taken up less than an hour of it in this yearlong calendar, we are the only ones around.

I would love to hear about other people’s takes on the Cosmic Calendar, and the ways in which it seems to confirm/deny the presence of other life in the universe and why?

 

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One thought on “Our Miniature History, the Cosmic Calendar, and Understanding One’s Place

  1. I agree that the cosmic calendar may be the strongest evidence for alien life in the universe. It’s quite interesting to think that some other life forms may have their own cosmic calendar. And maybe, if their life started before ours, they could even have been around for billions of years! Like you commented on my post, I think ours relate because although the universe is very old, is vastness may be the reason we have not encountered aliens yet.

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