Archive for At Home In The Universe
Article 50 (last of the series): As far as we know, it is for the first time in the 13,8 billion years of the history of our universe, that through a Life’s form the Universe is [...]
Article 49: It may take a couple of ‘years’, but the Sun’s luminosity will burn down the Earth, the present Stelliferous Era will end and all stars in the universe will have [...]
Article 48: It may take a couple of ‘months’, but Africa's collision with Eurasia will close the Mediterranean Basin and create a mountain range, similar to the Himalayas, and [...]
Article 47: It may take a couple of ‘weeks’, but there will be a new glacial period, Betelgeuse will explode in a supernova, the coral reef ecosystems will recover and the [...]
Article 46: "Lester Brown tells us how to build a more just world and save the planet from climate change in a practical, straightforward way. We should all heed his advice,” [...]
Article 45: Last call of our astronomer - and of the international scientific consensus as well - this time about the shocking effects of (over-)population and (over-)consumption [...]
Article 44: Your human population has been growing continuously since the end of the Black Death, around the year 1350, although the most significant increase has been in the last [...]
Article 42: This is the time either to destroy your whole Earth or to destroy all these arbitrary conceptions of nation, race and religion, to rebuild humankind and to make the [...]
Article 41: As societies evolved from family-groups and tribes to chiefdoms and states, the power elite created the gods to glue the people together as “brothers and sisters”, [...]
Article 40: We have seen by now how the universe created man. No, nothing mentioned in the earlier contributions can be left out! Everything is needed for that one little girl, for [...]
Article 39: The most striking observation is that in the mid-20th century, humanity’s effect on the Earth crossed a tipping point. This happened when post-World War II production [...]
Article 38: What if Earth, as a system, is operating now in a quantifiably new state, because of the profound changes humans are making to Earth’s natural systems?
Article 37: The Holocene is the name given to the last 12.000 years of Earth's history. The Holocene is witnessing all of humanity's recorded history and the rise and fall of all [...]
Article 36: The genus ‘Homo’ is the youngest twig from a 2.5 million year old branch from a 4.6 billion year old tree, a seedling in a 13.8 billion year old universe. You and I [...]
Article 35: During the present Ice Age, temperate zones are alternately covered by glaciers, during glacial periods, and uncovered during interglacial periods, when the glaciers [...]
Article 34: The Pleistocene is characterized by the presence of large land mammals, like mammoths and mastodons. This period also sees the evolution and expansion of our own [...]
Article 33: During the Pliocene, large polar ice caps start to develop. Some apes come down from the trees and start to exist on the plains in Africa. Australopithecus afarensis, [...]
Article 32: The overall pattern of biological change is one of expanding open vegetation systems, at the expense of diminishing closed vegetation. The apes arise and diversify, [...]
Article 31: On land, mammals begin to dominate in this period, except in Australia. They continue to grow larger and larger, in good harmony with the expansion of grasslands and [...]
Article 30: In the Early Eocene, the Earth is a greenhouse world. Life is small and living in cramped jungles. There is nothing over the weight of 10 kilograms. At the top of the [...]
Article 29: The Early Paleocene sees the recovery of the Earth, after the mass extinction event at the end of the Cretaceous. During this period mammals grow bigger and occupy a [...]
Article 28: A most important event in the Cretaceous, at least for terrestrial life, is the first appearance of flowering plants. At the end of the period, volcanic eruptions are [...]
Article 27: During the Jurassic Period, the supercontinent Pangea splits apart. The period is a golden age for the large herbivorous dinosaurs. The Jurassic also sees the first [...]
Article 26: During the Triassic, the survivors of the Permian extinction spread and recolonize. Coelophysis is an early dinosaur. Near the end of the period, the first mammals [...]
Article 25: By the beginning of the Permian, many of the continents of today meet in supercontinent Pangea. The end of the Permian is the largest mass extinction recorded in the [...]
Article 24: The Carboniferous Period answers the question "Which came first, the chicken or the egg?" definitely. This period is famous for its vast swamp forests, the primary [...]
Article 23: The Devonian is notable for the rapid diversification in fish. Near the end of this period, a mass extinction event occurs, considered to be the second of the 'big [...]
Article 22: The Silurian sees the healing of the Earth. The warm, stable climate provides for one of the most significant developments: the arrival of the first plants to colonize [...]
Article 21: Perhaps the most groundbreaking occurrence of the Ordovician is the colonization of the land. The end of the Ordovician is a ‘Snowball Earth’ period, the first mass [...]
Article 20: The Cambrian is the springtime for life on our planet. It is the time when most of the major groups of animals first appear in the fossil record.
Article 19: Many of the most exciting events during the history of the Earth and of life occur during the Proterozoic. Stable continents first appear as well as the first living [...]
Article 18: If you were able to travel back, in order to visit the Earth during the Archean, you would likely not recognize it as the same planet we inhabit today.
Article 17: The name ‘Hadean' comes from Hades, the underworld of the Greek mythology. It refers to the hellish conditions of the Earth during the earliest part of its history.
Article 16: In volume 17, page 350 - at about 2/3 of the distance between the Big Bang and Now - we come across the birth of our Sun, of our Solar System and of our planet Earth.
Part 13: The Solar System's location in the Milky Way is a factor of great importance in the evolutionary history of life on Earth. It has given the Earth long periods of stability [...]
Part 12: The vast majority of our Solar System's mass, 99,9 %, is in the Sun, with most of the remaining mass contained in Jupiter. For the four terrestrial planets together, [...]
Part 11: Just like you and me, our Sun and all the other stars have a life cycle of conception, embryo, birth, childhood, adulthood, old age and death. Crucial is how massive they [...]
Part 8: “The Sun and the Earth formed about four and a half billion years ago, when I was 37 ‘Milky Way years’ old. A solar system forms relatively quickly and ours probably [...]
Part 6: From a few millionths of a second after the Big Bang onwards, the chronology of the development of the universe is being studied, understood and mapped by modern physics.
Part 5: According to the dissident Cyclic Universe theory, the Big Bang was not the beginning of time, but the bridge to a past, filled with endlessly repeating cycles of [...]
Part 4: The Big Bang theory is the prevailing cosmological model of the birth and the expansion of the universe. However, it still is a challenge to modern cosmology to understand [...]
Part 3: Homo sapiens has produced a great diversity of wonderful guesswork about the birth of the universe. Or has the universe no distinct starting point? Has each beginning [...]