JON LOMBERG / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JON LOMBERG / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
For editorial use only.
Timeline for the Universe and the Earth. Timeline starting from the Big Bang origin of the Universe (bottom) around 14 billion years ago (bya). Images (up left) illustrate the unfolding history. Events and approximate dates include the formation of the Milky Way Galaxy's spiral arms (10 bya), the origin of the Solar System and the Earth (5 bya), the formation of the oldest known Earth rocks (3.8 bya), the start of photosynthesis and oxygenating of the Earth's atmosphere (3.2 bya), the origin of nucleated (eukaryotic) cells (1.8 bya), the earliest known animal fossils (0.6 bya) and the Mona Lisa painting (finished in 1404).
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