You may remember Cosmos, the 1980 PBS series by Carl Sagan. If you’re like me you don’t just remember it, but loved the series so much you bought the remastered DVD box set as a Christmas present for yourself last year! You may also recall Sagan’s “Cosmic Calendar” from the series, where in order to put the immensely vast history of the universe into a comprehensible scale, he mapped it onto a calendar year. In other words, if the entire history of the universe were one year, with the big bang in the first second of midnight on January first, and the present day in the last second of December 31st, New Year’s Eve. I’ve started watching it again recently and decided it would be cool to note the major events in the Cosmic Calendar, on the real calendar — even better, in blog form! (In fact I may even write all the posts for this over the next several days and schedule them for the appropriate points over the coming year, just to see if WordPress’ scheduler can handle that. But then, that’s the sort of thing I do — my “day job” is testing software. At least until my paintings start bringing down Van Gogh-like prices. Of course I’d need to actually try to sell a few first… But I digress.)
So here is the first post in my Cosmic Calendar series!
January 1, at midnight, just as the ball reaches the ground and everyone screams Happy New Year!: The Big Bang. Our universe springs into being. At this point the entire universe is made of subatomic particles. There are no atoms yet, and there will not be for thousands of years (real years).
So don’t hold your breath for the next post in this series — it will not be until May. Five ‘cosmic months’ will elapse before our galaxy, the Milky Way, even forms. And that’s just our galaxy. We won’t even have a planet to stand on until September. Kinda mind blowing, eh?
Happy New Year!