- Detailed logarithmic timeline
This timeline allows one to see the whole history of the universe, the Earth, and mankind in one table. Each row is defined in years ago, that is, years before the present date, with the earliest times at the top of the chart. In each table cell on the right, references to events or notable people are given, more or less in chronological order within the cell.
Each row corresponds to a change in log(time before present) of about 0.1 (using log base 10), similar to Renard numbers. The table for recent events assumes a present of 1 January 2010.
Time interval, before the present time. a=annum (year) Period Event, Invention or Historical development 13.7 Ga – 12.6 Ga 12.6 Ga – 10 Ga 10 Ga – 8 Ga 8 Ga – 6.3 Ga
Delta Eridani forms
6.3 Ga – 5 Ga
Birth of Alpha Centauri
5 Ga – 4 Ga 4 Ga – 3.2 Ga End of Hadean eon, beginning of Archaean eon 3.2 Ga – 2.5 Ga Archaean eon 2.5 Ga – 2 Ga Paleoproterozoic era
Oxygen revolution. Huronian glaciation. Grypania fossils. First unambiguous Cyanobacteria fossils, in Belcher Islands. Bolide over 10 km in size creates Vredefort crater. Milky Way perturbed by collision.
2 Ga – 1.6 Ga Paleoproterozoic era 1.6 Ga – 1.26 Ga Mesoproterozoic era
Earliest known acritarchs
1.26 Ga – 1 Ga Mesoproterozoic era 1 Ga – 800 Ma Neoproterozoic era 800 Ma – 630 Ma Neoproterozoic 630 Ma – 500 Ma Ediacaran period, Cambrian period
Pannotia supercontinent, first fossils of algae and animals (Ediacaran biota), Cambrian explosion. Fish-like Myllokunmingia, Haikouichthys, & Pikaia. First conodonts. All modern mineralized phyla present. Arthropods dominant until arrival of chambered nautili 
500 Ma – 400 Ma End of Cambrian. Ordovician, Silurian
Collision of asteroids gives rise to L chondrite group of meteoroids and several craters ca. 470 Ma ago. Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event. First starfish, sea urchins, oysters, scallops, placoderms, cartilaginous fish (such as sharks) and bony fish. First fossils of plants and fungi on land. First clear evidence of land arthropods. Andean-Saharan glaciation. Ordovician-Silurian extinction events.
400 Ma – 320 Ma Devonian (416-359 Ma), Carboniferous (359-299 Ma) 320 Ma – 250 Ma Carboniferous, Permian (299-251 Ma)
Karoo Ice Age. Formation of Pangaea supercontinent. First winged insects, synapsids, reptiles. Cycads, seed ferns. Therapsids such as pelycosaurs & cynodonts. Siberian Traps eruption & Permian-Triassic extinction event. Dinosaur tracks
250 Ma – 200 Ma Triassic 200 Ma – 160 Ma Jurassic
Central Atlantic eruption and Triassic–Jurassic extinction event. Breakup of Pangaea. Mammals. Gymnosperms (especially conifers, Bennettitales and cycads) and ferns common. Sauropods, carnosaurs, stegosaurs. Toarcian turnover (extinction).
160 Ma – 126 Ma Jurassic, Early Cretaceous 126 Ma – 100 Ma Aptian & Albian stages of the Cretaceous 100 Ma – 80 Ma Late Cretaceous: Cenomanian, Turonian, Coniacian, Santonian 80 Ma – 63 Ma Campanian & Maastrichtian stages of the Cretaceous
Dominance of angiosperm rosids. Evidence for Grasses in dinosaur dung. Madagascar breaks away from India. Bolide creates Chicxulub Crater. Shiva crater and Deccan Traps. Cretaceous–Tertiary extinction event
63 Ma – 50 Ma Paleocene, Eocene
Mammals dominate. Titanoboa, largest known snake. Eritherium, first known proboscid. Lemurs. Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum. First creodonts. First equid, the Eohippus or Hyracotherium. Andes mountains begin to rise.
50 Ma – 40 Ma Eocene 40 Ma – 32 Ma Eocene, Oligocene
Grasses common. 100-km Popigai crater in Siberia. 2-mile (3.2 km) diameter bolide creates 90-km Chesapeake Bay impact crater in America. Tasmanian Seaway and Drake Passage open, allowing creation of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. Baleen whales appear.
32 Ma – 25 Ma Oligocene
Gould Belt of stars created. Alps begin to rise. First indricotheria, "hornless rhinoceros" about 6 metres high. Primates cross Atlantic to South America and become New World monkeys. La Garita Caldera, perhaps largest eruption in Earth's history.
25 Ma – 20 Ma Miocene, Aquitanian age 20 Ma – 16 Ma Miocene, Burdigalian age
First Megatherium americanum, a giant sloth. First deinotheres, similar to an elephant but with tusks on lower jaw.
16 Ma – 12.6 Ma Miocene, Langhian age, Serravallian age
Africa/Arabia collides with Eurasia, end of Tethys Sea. Columbia River basalts.. Nördlinger Ries impact crater. Mid-Miocene Climatic Optimum, Middle Miocene disruption. Great apes split from lesser apes.
12.6 Ma – 10 Ma Miocene, Serravallian age, Tortonian age 10 Ma – 8 Ma Miocene, Tortonian age 8 Ma – 6.3 Ma Miocene, Tortonian age, Messinian age
C4 grasses become common. Crocodiles cross the Atlantic to America. "Toumaï", of species Sahelanthropus tchadensis, shows some human traits. First Thylacosmilus, sabre-toothed marsupial of South America.
6.3 Ma – 5 Ma Miocene, Messinian age 5 Ma – 4 Ma Pliocene
Ardipithecus ramidus, Australopithecus anamensis
4 Ma – 3.2 Ma Pliocene 3.2 Ma – 2.5 Ma Pliocene 2.5 Ma – 2 Ma Paleolithic begins, Lower Paleolithic 2 Ma – 1.6 Ma Beginning of Pleistocene
Homo erectus appears. Human-like Australopithecus sediba. Homo ergaster in Africa. First signs of Acheulian culture, in Kenya. Hominins in Dmanisi, Georgia and in Nihewan basin, China. First true hand-axes. Last known terror birds.
1.6 Ma – 1.26 Ma
Homo erectus found in Europe. Henry's Fork Caldera erupts.
1.26 Ma – 1 Ma 1 Ma – 800 ka 800 ka – 630 ka Günz glaciation 630 ka – 500 ka Günz-Mindel interglacial 500 ka – 400 ka Günz-Mindel interglacial Mindel glaciation
Homo heidelbergensis in Germany, France, and Greece
400 ka – 320 ka Mindel glaciation 320 ka – 250 ka Yarmouthian Stage 250 ka – 200 ka Yarmouthian Stage Strait of Dover formed. 200 ka – 160 ka Illinoian Stage (Riß glaciation) 160 ka – 126 ka Illinoian Stage (Riß glaciation) 126 ka – 100 ka Beginning of Middle Paleolithic, Eemian Stage 100 ka – 80 ka Beginning of Würm glaciation 80 ka – 63 ka Ca. 78000 – ca. 61000 BCE
Tools made in Kota Tampan, Malaysia, probably by Homo sapiens. Abstract designs engraved on ochre, and pressure flaking, at Blombos Cave in South Africa. Supervolcano Toba in Indonesia erupts, covering India and Pakistan with ash and starting a 1000-year ice age. Humans on Luzon.
63 ka – 50 ka Ca. 61000 – ca. 48000 BCE 50 ka – 40 ka Ca. 48000 – ca. 38000 BCE
Neandertal Divje Babe flute - prehistoric music. Mining of hematite at the Lion Cave in Swaziland. Mungo Man in Australia. Brief geomagnetic Laschamp Excursion. 50-metre diameter asteroid creates 1.2-km Meteor Crater in Arizona. Homo sapiens in Peştera cu Oase, Romania and in Tianyuan Cave, China.
40 ka – 32 ka Beginning of Upper Paleolithic Ca. 38000 – ca. 30000 BCE 32 ka – 25 ka Ca. 30000 – ca. 23000 BCE
Stone mortar and pestle used to grind fern and cattail tubers. Chauvet Cave paintings. Avian figurine in ivory and stone phallus of Hohler Fels. Venus of Dolní Věstonice (first known ceramic). End of Aurignacian culture, beginning of Gravettian. Imprint of woven cloth in clay (Czech Republic). Venus of Lespugue (ivory sculpture). First known spear thrower or atlatl. Oruanui eruption in New Zealand.
25 ka – 20 ka Ca. 23000 – ca. 18000 BCE
Venus of Brassempouy (carving of face). Lapedo child with mixture of Neanderthal and sapiens features at Lagar Velho Portugal. Neanderthals disappear. End of Gravettian culture, beginning of Solutrean. Ishango Bone, thought by some to be a tally stick which may show a prime number sequence. 1.9-km Tenoumer crater in Mauritania.
20 ka – 16 ka Ca. 18000 – ca. 14000 BCE 16 ka – 12.6 ka Ca. 14000 – ca. 10600 BCE. End of Pleistocene, beginning of Holocene and Mesolithic age.
Stone tools at the Buttermilk Creek Complex in Texas. Evidence of massacre at Cemetery 117. Older Dryas cold spell. Most recent glaciation gradually ends. Sea level rises 30 metres in a few hundred years (Meltwater Pulse 1A). Clovis culture in America. Beginning of Natufian culture in Levant. Outburst of water from Lake Agassiz or Younger Dryas impact event bring about the Younger Dryas cold spell. Extinction of many species of large animals. Earliest evidence of dogs.
12.6 ka – 10 ka Ca. 10600 – ca. 8000 BCE. Beginning of Neolithic.
First pottery (Japan). Natufian Shaman burial and earliest know banquet. Vela Supernova only 800 ly away. Island of Spartel flooded (possible site of Atlantis). Arrow-shaft straighteners used by Natufian culture in the Levant. Neolithic revolution (agriculture begins, domestication of animals). Göbekli Tepe (temple-like monuments and art). Lime. Earliest layers of Jericho – first known monumental building (stone tower 8 m high). Copper pendant in Iraq. Toothpicks and birch-bark chewing gum. Sea rises about 20 m in 9th millennium BCE.
10 ka – 8 ka Start of Holocene. Pre-Pottery Neolithic B in Mideast, 8th millennium BCE, 7th millennium BCE
Kennewick Man in Washington, whose skull was different from modern American Indians. Oldest cloth yet found (Çayönü). Trepanation. Lake Agassiz largely empties into the Hudson Bay. Finse event, a 300-year cold spell. Storegga tsunami. Mount Etna causes tsunami, possibly ending Atlit Yam settlement (Israel). Smelted lead, pottery & finger rings at Çatal Höyük. Opium
8 ka – 6.3 ka Ubaid period. 6th millennium BCE, 5th millennium BCE
Wine and beer. Sea rises 15–20 m in 6th millennium BCE, flooding Doggerland and cutting off Britain. Holocene thermal maximum brings temperatures warmer than today. Sahara region not a desert. Megaliths. Domestication of the horse. Pottery revolutionized by the potter's wheel. Oldest wrought gold known, in Varna necropolis. Last mastodons.
6.3 ka – 5 ka Chalcolithic. 4th millennium BCE
Copper Age. Continuation of Holocene thermal maximum. 5.9 kiloyear event – redesertification of Sahara begins. Sweet Track roadway. Large city of Hamoukar, destroyed in war, probably by Uruk in Sumer. Silver mining. Invention of wheel. Ötzi the Iceman. Phonetic Writing begins in Sumer (Cuneiform) and Elam.
5 ka – 4 ka 3rd millennium BCE 4 ka – 3.2 ka 2nd millennium BCE Bronze Age 3.2 ka – 2.5 ka ca. 1200 BCE – ca. 500 BCE Iron Age
Olmec civilization. Trojan war, Bronze Age collapse. Hekla 3 eruption. Tiwanaku. Beginning of Zhou Dynasty. David and Solomon. Apiculture. Zarathustra, Homer, Hesiod. Fall of Kingdom of Israel and Kingdom of Judah. First coins. Cyrus, Pythagoras, Kǒng Fūzǐ (Confucius)
2.5 ka – 2 ka ca. 500 BCE – ca. 10 AD
Etruscan civilization, Buddha, Socrates, Hippocrates, Plato, Aristotle. Helike sinks beneath the waves. Alexander, Euclid. Gallic invasion of the Balkans. Library of Alexandria. Ashoka. Punic Wars end with razing of Carthage. Qin Dynasty & beginning of Han Dynasty. Julius Caesar
2 ka – 1.6 ka ca. 10 AD – ca. 400 AD 1.6 ka – 1.26 ka ca. 400 – ca. 750
Classic Maya civilization. Byzantine Empire, Augustine, Attila, Saint Patrick, King Arthur. Teotihuacán. Climate changes of 535-536. Plague of Justinian. Muhammad. Muslims capture Ctesiphon, largest city in world. Vikings. First half of Tang dynasty.
1.26 ka – 1 ka ca. 750 – ca. 1010 1000 y – 800 y ca. 1010 – ca. 1210 800 y – 630 y ca. 1210 – ca. 1380 630 y – 500 y ca. 1380 – ca. 1510 500 y – 400 y 16th century
Da Vinci, Michelangelo. Luther & the Reformation. Copernicus, Scientific Revolution. 1556 Shaanxi earthquake. Spanish Armada. microscope. Rise of the Moghul Empire. Russian Time of Troubles and Russian famine of 1601–1603, probably connected to eruption of Huaynaputina. Beginning of Little Ice Age (ca. 1550 to 1850). William Shakespeare. King James Bible.
400 y – 320 y 17th century 320 y – 250 y 1691 – 1761 250 y – 200 y 1761 – 1811 200 y – 160 y 1811 – 1851 160 y – 126 y 1851 – 1885 126 y – 100 y 1885 – 1911
Invention of automobile. Edison, Mark Twain. Krakatoa. 1887 Yellow River flood. Dreyfus. Radio. Spanish–American War. Philippine–American War. Freud, Wright Brothers. Einstein's papers on special relativity and quantization of light (photons). 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Tunguska event. First Model T.
100 y – 80 y 1911 – 1931 80 y – 63 y 1931 – 1948
1931 Yellow River flood. Soviet famine of 1932–1933. Great Depression. Hitler. FDR, New Deal. Gödel. Gandhi. Second Sino-Japanese War. LSD invented. World War II. Pearl Harbor. Penicillin. Atom bomb. UN. Cold War begins. ENIAC
63 y – 50 y 1948 – 1961 50 y – 40 y 1961 – 1971
John F. Kennedy, Cuban missile crisis, American Civil Rights Movement. Beginning of Vietnam War. Indonesian killings of 1965–66. Six-Day War. 2001 (film). Vietnam War, counterculture. Unix, Moon landing, Woodstock. Bhola cyclone kills 500,000
40 y – 32 y 1971 – 1979
Yom Kippur War, Richard Nixon resigns. Banqiao Dam and 61 other dams break in China. Khmer Rouge. Tangshan earthquake. Downfall of Gang of Four. Microcomputers. Three Mile Island, Jimmy Carter, Margaret Thatcher becomes PM,
32 y – 25 y 1979 – 1986
Usenet. Eruption of Mount St. Helens. Pac-man. Ronald Reagan becomes president. CNN, MTV. AIDS discovered. First IBM PC. Macintosh, Bhopal disaster, Soviet-Afghan War. Discovery of ozone hole. Challenger Disaster. Chernobyl,
25 y – 20 y 1986 – 1991
First 80386, Iran-Contra scandal . BSE, Perestroika, Black Monday on Wall Street. End of Iran–Iraq War US invades Panama, Tiananmen protests, Fall of Berlin Wall. Launch of Hubble Space Telescope George H. W. Bush presidency. First Gulf War, AOL. Eruption of Mount Pinatubo.
20 y – 16 y 1991 – 1995
1991 Soviet coup d'état attempt,. End of USSR. Beginning of Clinton presidency. First Pentium. Oslo accords. Bosnian War. End of apartheid 1994 Los Angeles earthquake. Rwandan massacre. Israeli-Jordanian Peace Treaty.
16 y – 12.6 y 1995 – 1998
Rising use of the Internet and the World Wide Web. Start of WTO. Kobe earthquake. Windows 95, Java programming language. Tony Blair becomes PM of the UK. Asian financial crisis. Good Friday agreement. Discovery of the acceleration of the universe.
12.6 y – 10 y 1998 – 2001 10–8 y 2001–2003 Since then
2003 Iraq War, European heat wave of 2003. Bam Earthquake.
Yassir Arafat dies (Nov. 11, 2004). Boxing Day Tsunami.
John Paul II dies (April 2, 2005). Gaza pullout by Israel, Great Flood of New Orleans, Kashmir earthquake.
2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict, 2006 North Korean nuclear test.
Nicolas Sarkozy president of France. Battle of Gaza (2007). Gordon Brown becomes PM of UK. World population becomes more than 50% urban. Northwest Passage opens for first time in history of modern record keeping. Cyclone Sidr (Nov. '07).
Barack Obama president of US. 2009 swine flu outbreak.
2010 Haiti earthquake. 2010 Chile earthquake. Polish presidential airplane disaster. 2010 Yushu earthquake. 2010 eruptions of Eyjafjallajökull. Deepwater Horizon oil spill. 2010 European sovereign debt crisis. 2010 UK general election brings David Cameron to power. 2010 Gaza flotilla clash. 2010 Northern Hemisphere summer heat wave. 2010 Pakistan floods. WikiLeaks publishes US diplomatic cables.
2010–2011 Queensland floods. 2010–2011 Tunisian revolution. Egyptian Revolution of 2011. 2011 Libyan uprising. February 2011 Christchurch earthquake. 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. Fukushima nuclear accident. Assassination of Osama bin Laden.
A logarithmic timeline can also be devised for events which should occur in the future, barring unforeseen circumstances and assuming that we can extrapolate into the future based on our science.
Time interval Event 1 – 10 y (2011–2020) 10 – 100 y (2020–2110) Mean global temperatures 5-7°C warmer than present. Severe drought across most of Europe, North America, Australia, and China. 100 – 1000 y (2110-3010) 1000 – 10 ky (3010-12 010 CE) Summer and winter constellations switch, north celestial pole moves far from present North Star 10 ky – 100 ky (12 010 - 102 010CE) Presently used Computus will give Paschal Full Moon at new moon.
Present constellations become unrecognizable.
Hebrew Calendar out of sync with seasons.
100 ky – 1 My Gregorian Calendar out of sync with seasons. 1 My – 10 My Technetium-99 produced today ceases to be dangerous
Gliese 710 comes within about a lightyear of the sun.
10 My – 100 My Mediterranean basin closes 100 My – 1 Gy Different continents from today due to splitting and coalescence. 1 Gy – 10 Gy Hotter sun makes land too hot for life.
Possible Andromeda-Milky Way collision.
10 Gy – 100 Gy Sun becomes a white dwarf 100 Gy – 1 Ty White dwarf Sun fades away. Local Group coalesces. 1 Ty – 10 Ty Galaxies outside Local Supercluster no longer visible (if dark energy prevails) 10 Ty – 100 Ty Star formation ends. 100 Ty – 1 Py Nuclear fusion ceases (if not sooner). Sun becomes black dwarf. 1 Py – 10 Py Planets fall or are flung away from their stars.
- Timeline of the far future
- List of timelines
- Timeline of the Big Bang
- Geologic time scale
- Timeline of evolution
- Orders of magnitude (time)
- World history
- Technological singularity
- Logarithmic timeline
- Future of an expanding universe
- ^ Saffe, C.; Gómez, M.; Chavero, C. (November 2005). "On the Ages of Exoplanet Host Stars". Astronomy and Astrophysics 443 (2): 609–626. Bibcode 2005A&A...443..609S. doi:10.1051/0004-6361:20053452.
- ^ a b c "First breath: Earth's billion-year struggle for oxygen" by Nick Lane, New Scientist, 6 Feb. 2010, pp.36-9.
- ^ "Milky Way still reeling from ancient smash", New Scientist, Feb. 21, 2009.
- ^ "Ancient lakes show when eukaryotic life left the sea" by Colin Barras, New Scientist, April 16, 2011, p. 20. "Earth’s earliest non-marine eukaryotes" by Paul Strother et al., Nature, 13 April 2011.
- ^ "Earliest animal traces solve timegap mystery", New Scientist, 11 May 2009, p. 12.
- ^ "Dawn of the animals: Solving Darwin's dilemma" by Douglas Fox and Michael Le Page, New Scientist, 8 July 2009, pp. 38-41
- ^ Landing, E.; English, A.; Keppie, J. D. (2010). "Cambrian origin of all skeletalized metazoan phyla--Discovery of Earth's oldest bryozoans (Upper Cambrian, southern Mexico)". Geology 38 (6): 547. doi:10.1130/G30870.1.
- ^ "Nautilus: Chambers of secret life" by Peter Ward, New Scientist, 5 April 2008.
- ^ "Meet the oldest dino ancestor yet", New Scientist, 6 Oct. 2010.
- ^ "Footprints pull origin and diversification of dinosaur stem lineage deep into Early Triassic" by Stephen L. Brusatte1, Grzegorz Niedźwiedzki and Richard J. Butler, Proc. Roy. Soc. B, 2010.
- ^ http://www.newscientist.com/channel/life/mg19325975.100-mammals-not-such-late-developers-after-all.html
- ^ http://environment.newscientist.com/channel/earth/mg19926655.300-submarine-eruption-bled-earths-oceans-of-oxygen.html
- ^ "Orion's dark secret: Violence shaped the night sky", New Scientist, 21 Nov. 2009, pp. 42-5.
- ^ "Crocodiles swam the Atlantic to reach America", by Michael Marshall, New Scientist, May 14, 2011, p. 16.
- ^ "Hominins on Flores, Indonesia, by one million years ago", Nature 464, pp. 748-752 (1 April 2010), doi:10.1038/nature08844
- ^ "Charred remains may be earliest human fires", New Scientist, April 29, 2004.
- ^ http://www.newscientist.com/channel/being-human/mg19626265.200-early-modern-humans-had-a-taste-for-seafood.html
- ^ "Earliest fired knives improved stone age tool kit" by Ewen Callaway, New Scientist, 13 Aug. 2009.
- ^ "Mystery seafaring ancestor found in the Philippines" by Jeff Hecht, New Scientist, 12 June 2010, p. 16.
- ^ "Gigantic volcano did not decimate humans", New Scientist, 14 July 2007, p. 19
- ^ "Stone Age humans liked their burgers in a bun", Sonia Van Gilder Cooke, New Scientist, 23 Oct. 2010, p. 18.
- ^ "Thirty thousand-year-old evidence of plant food processing" by Anna Revedin et al., PNAS, published online Oct. 18, 2010.
- ^ Amos, Jonathan (25 July 2005). "Ancient phallus unearthed in cave". BBC News. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/4713323.stm.
- ^ "Were the First Americans European?" Scientific American Frontiers on PBS.
- ^ "Ancient remains are of earliest known shaman" New Scientist, 8 Nov. 2008, p. 16.
- ^ "Tortoise banquet: Remains of the oldest feast found" by Michael Marshall, New Scientist, Aug. 30, 2010.
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