The Universe is 13.8 Billion Years Old. Evolution has Changed it Immensely.
According to science, our amazing planet is over 4.5 billion years old.
Here are two of my articles regarding planet Earth, they may surprise you.
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Where is our planet Earth going and what is it doing?
Most of us give little thought to what our planet is doing or where it is going, to us, it seems to be stationary in space, but that is not the case.
24 hours, our day, is the time it takes for the Earth to complete one revolution on its axis. To give an idea of how fast the Earth is spinning, imagine this. If you were standing on the equator, the widest part of the Earth you would be travelling at over 1,600 kilometres per hour, all due to that daily spin.
The word spin is deceiving, you might think of it as fast-moving. Imagine looking at a football that is turning on its axis at the same speed as the Earth. Would you see it move? no, you would not, it is turning far too slowly for us to notice. Our speed at the equator has to do with how far we are from the Earth’s centre.
One year is the time the Earth takes to make a complete orbit around our local star the Sun. The distance between the Sun and the Earth is almost 150 million kilometres. To achieve that yearly journey around the Sun our planet is speeding through space at 107,000 kilometres per hour.
Since its early beginning, our planet has circled the Sun over 4.5 billion times. I feel privileged to have shared that journey 70 times, but it makes you realise how short our lives really are! make the most of your precious time and enjoy your ride on spaceship Earth.
Our planet is part of the solar system, which is in orbit around the centre of our galaxy the Milky Way. That long journey travelling at about 790,000 kilometres per hour is called a galactic or cosmic year and takes about 225 million years to complete. So you could say that the Earth is roughly 20 cosmic years old, which sounds a lot younger than 4.5 billion years old.
One cosmic year ago, or the last time the solar system was in this position in its path around our galaxy, dinosaurs were beginning to colonise the Earth, and it would be a very, very long time before we humans arrived on the scene!
To top it off, our galaxy with us onboard is travelling through space at about 2.2 million kilometres per hour and we don’t even notice it.
That speed is relative to the cosmic background radiation.
Image credit. Claudio_Scott from Pixabay.
We go to bed shut our eyes and fall asleep, the next time you open your eyes in the morning think of this, in an average sleep you will have travelled an incredible distance of 15 million kilometres through space.
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Planet Earth is an amazing world that could be unique.
Sometimes we take our home planet for granted, this chunk of rock orbiting the Sun is so special to us and the millions of other species who live on it. And, as far as we know there is no other place remotely like it.
Image credit. Kanenori from Pixabay.
Our beautiful world is the third closest planet to the Sun, orbiting at a distance of almost 150 million kilometres.
There are countless reasons why life as we know it can live and thrive on this magical world but one of the main reasons is that it orbits the Sun at the perfect distance which is called the goldilocks zone or habitable zone, this area in space ensures that it is not too hot, nor too cold, liquid water exists in the habitable zone which is a requirement for all the life on Earth.
If we were much closer to the Sun, our oceans and lakes would boil dry, and if our planet was too far from the Sun, all the Earth's water would be frozen solid.
Sometime in the distant future, the conditions on Earth will change and all life will end, but that will be a natural process. The Sun is slowly getting warmer, maybe in a billion years, it will be so hot on the Earth’s surface that all life will be extinct. But in the meantime, I hope that mankind will treat our only home with respect for the sake of ourselves and all other living things that share our world.
The Earth is roughly 4.5 billion years old, just a little younger than the Sun. Gravity has pulled most of the heavier elements like iron and nickel down into its core with the lighter elements staying at the surface and forming the crust.
Image credit. 99mimimi from Pixabay.
Due to the Earth’s massive molten iron core and its rotation, a magnetic field was created around our planet and that magnetic field has protected the Earth ever since, it deflects most of the solar wind, those charged particles would otherwise strip away the protective ozone layer which protects our planet from ultraviolet radiation.
It took a long time for the molten Earth to cool down from its violent birth, but as it cooled the new conditions allowed the first rain to fall from the sky, which began forming the oceans and lakes.
It is thought that our planet contained water when it formed, and later on, incoming asteroids and comets also contributed to the water we see on Earth today. Around 3.5 to 4 billion years ago, some elements came together in the oceans and formed the essential substances which would eventually create the first life on our world.
You are a very advanced life form but why are you here? Evolution is thought to be the reason.
Evolutionary biologists agree that humans and other living species are descended from simple bacteria-like ancestors. Bacteria can be traced back at least 3.5 billion years. Over countless generations, small modifications have taken place, and the small changes which are more favourable to life are more likely to be passed on to the next generation, this has been playing out since the first life appeared, that process is called natural selection.
Everyone has their thoughts as to why we exist, for me, evolution is the only plausible reason.
One thing that evolution does need is plenty of time, as it is a very slow process. A human lifespan is not long enough for us to notice tiny changes.
Life is amazing but it must be said that it is not yet fully understood why life got a start here on planet Earth.
Fossil stromatolites have been found in western Australia dating back 3.5 billion years, their columns were constructed by Cyanobacteria a single-cell photosynthesising microbe.
Image credit. Bernd Hildebrandt from Pixabay.
That was a game-changer for the development of life because they produced the by-product oxygen, which slowly accumulated in our oceans and the atmosphere, that element eventually led to a big leap in animal evolution and diversity.
It took about 400 million years from the present day for insects to arrive and spread out around the globe, Dinosaurs roamed the Earth 230 million years ago and unexpectedly died out 66 million years ago when a large asteroid impacted the Earth, 130 million years into the past is when flowering plants appeared.
Our early ancestors existed in Africa six million years ago, and modern man, Homo Sapiens have been around for over two hundred thousand years. Civilisation as we know it has existed for six thousand years.
Now we are here at the top of the tree of life, some animals have evolved to be stronger, larger and faster than we are and some can fly, and many live out their lives in water. But what sets us apart is that we have developed the most advanced brain, which has given us intelligence, curiosity and the ability to carry out science which is providing us with a better understanding of the Universe and life itself.
Image credit. Aboodi Vesakaran on Unsplash
Consider yourself very special and unique, the odds against your existence are astronomical.
End of article.
You may enjoy reading some of my easy-to-understand articles regarding the Universe and Life.
About the Creator
A B Forbes
I hope you find some of my articles interesting.
Our highly developed brain has given us intelligence and curiosity, now with the help of sophisticated scientific instruments, we can try and make sense of the Universe and our existence.
Author. My articles are written for people with an average understanding of the universe and life. We are not all experts. I hope you gain some knowledge if you decide to read them. Regards.