7. A mass of just 20 pounds created the Universe --------------------------- Previous - Next - Contents

Can you see this small red dot   .   ?

Try to imagine it in your mind at least a thousand times smaller and you get close to (what the current scientists believe is) the original size of the entire universe we now live in.
But wait, there is more. Do you know how heavy this tiny dot is ?   20 pounds,   20 pounds ! ! (9 kilograms)
If someone dropped this into your hand it would fall right through it (the pressure in terms of pounds per square inch would be enormous) and feel like a sharp needle had been shot through your hand with a rifle. Or it might feel like a hole burned through your hand, because that dot was bloody hot too.

The Expanding Universe At one point, (if it is at all possible to think in terms of time then) an unknown event but perhaps as simple as a drop in temperature, this tiny dot exploded and in a fraction of time expanded to a size and scale more in keeping with the size of our present universe today. (Although still smaller than at present, as the universe has kept expanding ever since, but at a much slower rate.) This happened roughly 14.5 billion years ago.
But you are not too late to watch it. Every time you turn on the TV and think you are not getting a picture, you are in fact looking at the "mother of all pictures" in the universe, the back ground radiation of the mighty Big Bang itself.

The explosion also created trillions of tiny particles, protons, neutrons, electron, which in turn partly formed atoms of the simplest elements such as helium and hydrogen. As things quietened down a bit the particles clustered together into burning stars. When burned out the stars exploded leaving "ashes" of heavier elements behind. Through this life cycle of birth - growth - decay - death stars kept producing ever more complex elements. These in turn started to cluster together too into planets which, through gravity forces kept rotating around stars.
This is how our own solar system was born, 4.5 billion years ago, 10 billion years after the Big Bang ("ATB").

Perhaps you know all (or most) of this stuff already, but do you consciously consider your own life in this wider (literally "universal") context ? A picture, I believe, always helps to visualise things in your mind, increasing your awareness, of what is and where you are at, and of the true reality as far as we know it.
Life span of our Universe
First life on Earth started roughly 600-700 million years ago (near the end of the Pre-Cambrium) and only in the sea (seaweeds and invertebrate creatures). About 400 million years ago (during the Devonian) the first small animals (spider, wingless insects - following the plants 50 million years earlier) start to appear on land.
Foot prints of human beings (two adults and one child) discovered in Africa in hardened clay have been carbon dated as 3,6 million years old. So we have been around at least that long, but in terms of the Earth's, let alone the Universe's life it is less than a blink of the eye, and much thinner than the vertical green line shown on the above picture.

In another 5 billion years or so the sun will have burned up all its fuel, explode and blow all its surrounding planets (including us) to smithereens. We are therefore at about the halfway point of the solar system's life span.
How appropriate, don't you think ?, that we humans appear on the scene at the exact mid life crisis point of our planet.   So, what is it going to be : suicide ?   or a new life ?  I believe both are well within our grasp.
But either way, the Universe will be around for a long time after we have gone.

Next Page - Top of Page

Copyright © 2010 Michael Furstner