Age of the universe

Careful observations, by the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe over 3 years, of microwave radiation left over from the Big Bang have produced the most accurate information yet about the age of the Universe: 13.73 billion years, with an error margin of just 120 million years.

The diagram below, courtesy of NASA, gives an idea of the sequence of events during that time.

universe-timeline.jpg

We really can’t hope to comprehend these sorts of time scales, but the evidence makes for interesting conjecture and a great narrative!

The Bad Astronomy Blog has a great overview of the universe’s story thus far.

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