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Ten Events in the History of the Universe

Ten events spanning the history of the universe organized by powers of ten.

  Date Range Date   Event
1010 tens of billions
of years ago
13-14 billion
years ago
Universe began
109 billions
of years ago
4.5 billion
years ago
Earth formed
108 hundreds of millions
of years ago
500 million
years ago
First fossilized animals
107 tens of millions
of years ago
65 million
years ago
Extinction of the dinosaurs
106 millions
of years ago
2 million
years ago
First stone tools made
105 hundreds of thousands
of years ago
800 thousand
years ago
First fires kindled
104 tens of thousands
of years ago
30 thousand
years ago
First art
103 thousands
of years ago
5 thousand
years ago
First writing
102 hundreds
of years ago
1492 Columbus: east meets west
101 tens
of years ago
1969 First people on the moon

Memorize these ten dates as a framework for understanding deep time.