Microwave Sky - The first detailed, all-sky picture of the infant universe. The
image shows 13 billion+ year old temperatures as color differences that correspond
to the seeds that grew to become the galaxies. Image is from the NASA/WMAP Science
suggests that 13,700,000,000 years ago there was a big bang; actually
it was not so much of an explosive bang as it was an expansion of space-time itself.
All matter was thus created within a few heartbeats, creating an expanding plasma
of the nuclei of hydrogen, helium and a bit of lithium, the lightest of the elements.
From there, the laws of thermodynamics assured a continual cooling, thermal equilibrium
and entropy increase.
some billion years, the cloud of interstellar dust began condensing due to the
forces of mass attraction into a large ball of gas (our sun), and smaller lumps
of miscellaneous debris (the planets including Earth). The sun is still primarily
comprised the light elements hydrogen and helium, which, by the way, still comprise
some 99.9% of the mass in the universe. The condensation produced tremendous energy,
and things were very hot -- too hot on earth for water molecules to condense.
time, say 5,000,000,000 years ago the earth began to cool, molten minerals forming
rock at the crust. Earth's original atmospheric was mainly hydrogen and helium
was lost to space. Volcanic activity yielded steam, carbon dioxide, nitrogen and
lesser other molecules that eventually formed a secondary atmosphere. Water condensed
forming oceans and lakes. The genesis of life is thought to have occurred by means
of chemical reactions in the atmosphere followed by reactions in the great mother
of life - the sea.