This image shows how one artist has drawn the Big Bang. The Big Bang is a theory that explains the origins of the Universe through a massive explosion.
Click on image for full size
Back to Cosmology
The History of the Universe in 60 Seconds or Less - Dr. Eric Schulman - streaming RealVideo (1 min. 16 sec.) from NSF
Einstein's Messengers - LIGO Documentary - streaming RealVideo (20 min. 12 sec.) from NSF
A Matter of Scale - interactive showing the sizes of things, from very tiny to huge - from NSF
The History of the Universe
The theory that best explains the current universe is the Big
theory. This theory states that, in the beginning, the
universe was all in one place. All of its matter and energy were
squished into an infinitely small point, a singularity. The laws of
physics which applied at that instant are not understood at all.
Something unknown caused the universe to explode, and thus began the
that we see today.
The early universe was small, so everything happened very quickly
compared to the timescales on which events happen for the present
universe. At the start, the universe was very small and dense. This
stage was called the primordial fireball. For the first second,
only elementary particles, such as protons, neutrons, and electrons,
could exist. But the universe quickly cooled and expanded. For about
the next 500,000 years, electromagnetic radiation (light) was the most
important thing in the universe and hence this time was known as the
radiation era. When the universe had cooled to the point where
the simplest atoms (hydrogen) could form, radiation no longer
dominated and matter took over. The cosmic microwave background
radiation was produced at this time. So began the matter
era in which the universe exists now.
So how old is the universe? There is much debate over the current age
of the universe among astrophysicists. But everyone agrees that it
is somewhere between 10 and 20 billion years old.
You might also be interested in:
NASA launched its newest satellite on June 24, 1999 from Cape Canaveral.The Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE) began its mission aboard the new Delta II rocket, which helped get the satellite...more
The NASA Hubble Space Telescope has recently found some awesome mirages produced by lenses in space. These lenses act as giant magnifying glasses for the Universe. A lens is produced when a large object...more
There is a radiation that fills the universe, called Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMB). CMB radiation is the heat left over from the time after the Big Bang, when the universe was really hot!...more
Some of the best news of the week is that the Microwave Anisotropy Probe (MAP) was launched successfully last Saturday! Liftoff on its Delta II rocket occurred on time on June 30, 2001. The MAP teams says...more
NASA scientists have taken a "snapshot" picture of the oldest light in the universe. The picture shows what is left of light given off during the big bang. The light is over 13 billion years...more
An element (also called a "chemical element") is a substance made up entirely of atoms having the same atomic number; that is, all of the atoms have the same number of protons. Hydrogen, helium, oxygen,...more
Isotopes are different "versions" of an element. All atoms of an element have the same number of protons. For example, all hydrogen atoms have one proton, all carbon atoms have 6 protons, and all uranium...more