Document name: History of the universe timeline Document date: 2015 Copyright information: BBC/The Open University OpenLearn Study Unit: In the night sky: Orion OpenLearn url: http://www.open.edu/openlearn/ocw/course/view.php?id=1270
History of the universe timeline Monica Grady
www.open.edu/openlearn Page 1 of 1 STARGAZING LIVE THE UNIVERSE THROUGH TIME 20 BILLION YEARS
You can download the 13.7 BILLION Stargazing LIVE Star Guide YEARS and find out more about 10 BILLION free Stargazing LIVE events at bbc.co.uk/stargazing 9 BILLION YEARS Sun expands A FEW BILLION YEARS to Red Giant A FEW HUNDRED MILLION YEARS
300,000 YEARS S
A FEW YEARS N
T T Universe
BIG nuclei EXPANSION OF THE
A High FORM FIRST GALAXIES R eventually
energy cold UNIVERSE BEGINS A
F particle First and dark BANG AND STARS FORM E atoms N reactions I form TO ACCELERATE N
E E F I S End of life E Formation of the L on Earth The Universe has R Solar System, expanded and P cooled ever since including Earth
TIME SIZE UNOBSERVABLE UNIVERSE (PAST) POTENTIALLY OBSERVABLE UNIVERSE (PAST) TODAY FUTURE THE BEGINNING FRACTION OF 1 SECOND 100 – 1000 300,000 YEARS A FEW HUNDRED MILLION YEARS A FEW BILLION YEARS 9 BILLION YEARS 10 BILLION YEARS 13.7 BILLION YEARS 20 BILLION YEARS 10100 YEARS The Universe begins 13.7 A SECOND The Large Hadron SECONDS We can detect radiation Matter clumps together under its own gravity forming the first protogalaxies and Initially, the expansion of the Universe decelerated – but a The Sun, along with its eight The first life appears on This is where we are today. Using our own In a few billion years the Sun’s outer layers Stars no longer form; matter is trapped in billion years ago with an event Collider at CERN is from the early formation within them, the first stars. few billion years after the Big Bang, the expansion began to planets, and all the Earth in the form of simple ingenuity, humanity is probing the depths of the will expand as it turns into a Red Giant star. black holes or dead stars. Protons decay Rapid expansion occurs Nuclei of hydrogen, known as the Big Bang. recreating the of the Universe back as accelerate. The acceleration is caused by a mysterious asteroids, comets and cells. Impacting comets and Universe and trying to unravel its mysteries, Life on Earth will become impossible. and black holes evaporate, leaving the during a billionth of a helium, lithium and Stars are nuclear furnaces in which heavier elements such as carbon, oxygen, silicon conditions that far as this point. Before force known as ‘dark energy’, the nature of which is Kuiper Belt objects, such as asteroids might have from our tiny, home planet, Earth. The visible Universe to its ultimate fate as cold, dead, Both time and space are billionth of a billionth of a other light elements and iron are formed. Massive stars exploding as supernovae create even heavier Expansion of the Universe will continue to prevailed a fraction this, the Universe is completely unknown. Pluto, form from the debris contributed organic Universe contains billions of galaxies, each empty space, containing only radiation, which created in this event. billionth of a second – the form. elements. Such explosions send material into space ready to be incorporated into accelerate. of a second after the opaque: it’s as if a veil left behind by earlier molecules to Earth. Life comprising billions of stars. Within our own itself too will eventually disperse. visible Universe is the size future generations of stars and planets. Big Bang. has been pulled over it. generations of stars. spreads across the globe. Galaxy, hundreds of exoplanets have been of a grapefruit. discovered orbiting other stars.
Stargazing LIVE is a BBC and Open University co-production. Credit: Photography sourced from NASA.