The Cosmic Calendar

At Home In The Universe Essays > Science, IT, Nature

Part 14: The Cosmic Calendar is a method to visualize the vast history of the universe, in which its 13,8 billion year lifetime is condensed down into a single year.

In this visualization the Big Bang takes place at the beginning of January 1, at midnight, and the current moment is mapped onto the end of December 31, at midnight.

At this scale there are 438 years per second, 1.58 million years per hour and 37.8 million years per day.

At home in the universe (14) R_001

This scale was popularized by Carl Sagan in his book ‘The Dragons of Eden’ and on the television series ‘Cosmos’, which he hosted.

At home in the universe

Cosmic Calendar

And human history? As Carl Sagan put it, “We’ve emerged so recently that the familiar events of our recorded history occupy only the last seconds of the last minute of December 31st.”

Calendar 31st

Thanks to Carl Sagan for the Cosmic Calendar; special thanks to David Christian for his very inspiring book ‘Maps of Time’ and his Project ‘Big History’ * and to Richard Fortey for his wonderful book, ‘The Earth: an Intimate History’.

* The Big History Project was started by Bill Gates and David Christian to enable the global teaching of Big History. Big History “is the attempt to understand, in a unified way, the history of Cosmos, Earth, Life and Humanity.” It is a course that covers history from the Big Bang through to the present in an interdisciplinary way. The Big History Project “is dedicated to fostering a greater love and capacity for learning among high school students.”

ShantiShanti is a regular contributor to Osho News

All articles of this series can be found in: At Home in the Universe


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