Origins

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Museums are full of fascinating objects from prehistoric times, but in reality ancient vistas surround us daily, many of which will not fit in a museum! We can literally look into the past through the skies of our own backyards. The light of stars and galaxies take millions, even billions of years to reach earth, so that what we see now is not the universe as it is today, but rather as it was in the remote past. The familiar landscapes we pass by daily represent chapters in the history of our Earth. These rocks allow us to reconstruct the arrangement of the continents and the history of the Earth. In the Origins gallery, voyage through the timeline of the cosmos and discover major events in the history of planet Earth.

 

Originsgallery

Origins Gallery

 

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Cosmic microwave background, 13 billion years ago. NASA image.

 

 

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Hubble deep field, to 12 billion light years distant.
NASA: R. Williams, The HDF Team (STScI)

 

 

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Earth 4.6-3.8 billion years ago (Hadean Earth).
Journal of Cosmology, Volume 8, June 2010

 

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"Impact" formation of the moon, 4.5 billion years ago.
NASA image 2-1307 by Joe Tucciarone, www.joetucciarone.com


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Snowball Earth, 2.4 billion years ago.
Journal of Cosmology, Volume 8, June 2010

 

 

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Grand Canyon, Inner Gorge, Vishnu Basement Rocks, 1.6-1.8 billion years ago.
USGS image

 

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Young visitor contemplates Origins

 

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Burgess Shale Fauna, Canada, 500 million years ago.
GEO86500_52d, http://fieldmuseum.org


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Earth 470 million years ago (Middle Ordovician).
Ron Blakey, Colorado Plateau Geosystems, http://cpgeosystems.com/


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Life on Earth, 370 million years ago.
GEO86500_125d, http://fieldmuseum.org


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Life on Earth, 325 million years ago.
GEO86500_036d, http://fieldmuseum.org

 

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Earth 300 million years ago (Pennsylvanian).
Ron Blakey, Colorado Plateau Geosystems, http://cpgeosystems.com/

 

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Visitors in the Age of Dinosaurs

 

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Monument Valley, Arizona/Utah, 270 million years ago.

 

 

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Spider Rock, Canyon de Chelley, Arizona, 270 million years ago.

 

 

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Earth 260 million years ago (Late Permian).
Ron Blakey, Colorado Plateau Geosystems, http://cpgeosystems.com/

 

 

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Triassic Landscape, 225 million years ago.
© Karen Carr, www.karencarr.com

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The Painted Desert, Arizona, 225 million years ago.
National Park Service photo.

 

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Earth 150 million years ago (Late Jurassic).
Ron Blakey, Colorado Plateau Geosystems, http://cpgeosystems.com/


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Cretaceous to Pleistocene.  Can you spot Ardi?

 

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Half Dome, Yosemite National Park, California, 87 million years ago.
National Park Service photo.

 

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Earth 65 million years ago (Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary)
Ron Blakey, Colorado Plateau Geosystems, http://cpgeosystems.com/


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Tyrannosaurus rex, 65 million years ago.
© Julius T. Csotonyi, www.csotonyi.com


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M 91 Galaxy, 63 million light years distant.

 

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Miocene fauna, 30 million years ago.
© Karen Carr, www.karencarr.com


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Weaver’s Needle, Superstition Mountains, Arizona, 25 million years ago.

 

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Ardipithecus ramidus, Middle Awash Valley, Ethiopia.
Adult female, 3’11” tall, 4.4 million years ago.
© Julius T. Csotonyi, www.csotonyi.com 

 

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M 31 Galaxy (Andromeda), 2.5 million light years distant.
NOAO/AURA/NSF

 

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Earth 50,000 years ago (Late Pleistocene); note glaciations.
Ron Blakey, Colorado Plateau Geosystems, http://cpgeosystems.com/