Deep Time
(13.7 Billion Years Ago to 5 Billion Years Ago)

From Light to the Solar System

The Universe Story is undoubtedly the most important story ever told - a golden thread of awareness that extends from the beginning Light to our current collective consciousness.

The Story is continuous and extends backward in time some 13.7 billion years. However, for Story telling purposes, we will divide it into three parts: Deep Time, Earth Time, and Human Time.

We begin here with Deep Time that starts 13.7 billion years ago (the beginning of time according to today's science) and continues to the formation of our Solar System and Planet Earth.

Today, there are multiple ways of telling this Story. At this site, we use three "languages" - so you will find examples of the spiritual/religious story; the poetic story; and the science story. You can choose the language most suited to you, because it's the same Story.

Spiritual Story

Judeo-Christian Story (Origin: Several thousand years ago)

"In the beginning, GOD created the heavens and the earth….
and GOD said “Let there be light,” and there was light.  Genesis 1:1-3

…[GOD] who only hath immortality, dwelling in light unapproachable;
whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honor and power eternal.
Amen. 1 Timothy 6:16

Each of the world's religions has a creation story, different but yet the same quest for a deeper understanding and spiritual union.

Poetic Story

Out of the Stars

Out of the stars in their flight, out of the dust of eternity,
here have we come,
Stardust and sunlight,
mingling through time and through space.

Out of the stars have we come,
up from time.
Out of the stars have we come.

Time out of time before time
in the vastness of space,
earth spun to orbit the sun,
Earth with the thunder of mountains newborn,
the boiling of seas.

Earth warmed by sun, lit by sunlight;
This is our home;
Out of the stars have we come...
... Robert Weston


"A broad and ample road, whose dust is gold,
And pavement stars to thee appear
Seen in the galaxy, that milky way
Which nightly as a circling zone thou seest
Powder'd with stars."
...John Milton (1608-1674)

Great Ball of Fire


"For 160 million years,
Dinos and sea reptiles ruled.
But 65 million years ago,
They vanished - as earth suddenly cooled..."

...Betty-Ann Kissilove

Science Story

Ref: Universe: The Definitive Visual Guide, DK Publishing, New York, 2008

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Light flaring forth 13.7  billion years ago ….
A surging sea of energy
Light (Photons, Energy,E ) transforming into Matter (mass, m)…
Matter transforming back into light… as E = mc2
Emergence of things like Strings,
Allowing Strong & Weak Nuclear Forces of Attraction
to begin the Emergence of complexity
 Quarks, and Anti-Quarks,
   X-Bosons and Anti -X-Bosons…

Ref: Universe: The Definitive Visual Guide, DK Publishing, New York, 2008

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Then on to Protons, Neutrons, Electrons...
   forming an elemental particle soup
      for 380,000 years…
As nuclear Attraction between elemental particles can create more
complex matter we call atomic nuclei…
-  that become the basic building blocks of all the mass we now see in the Universe...
soon all the atoms of Hydrogen and Helium emerge…


Expansion, cooling, calming...
From slight variations in Hydrogen and Helium density, emerge concentrations in gravity,
Soon each atom is attracted to a nearest gravitational center
From which the stars emerge and the sky begins to sparkle.
For over 8 billion years, gravity sorts the Universe…
Into 10-100 billion cosmic families we call galaxies…
Each galaxy containing 10-100 billion stars
Including Red Giants, Supernovas, and Main Sequence Stars like our Sun…
The nuclear furnaces that transform Hydrogen & Helium into something more...
Creating more and more complexity...
Using gravity to breath in Hydrogen,
Exhaling Carbon, Oxygen, Nitrogen, and all the elements of the Universe -
grandchildren of the Light.


As we gaze toward the constellation Sagittarius…
We are peering into the center of our Milky Way Galaxy…
Our spiraling extended family of star stuff…
Extended some 100,000 light years in diameter
showing us every stage of star creation.
10-100 billion stars being born, burning bright, blasting apart, or burning out quietly.

Gravity continues to act within each galaxy further differentiating the Hydrogen and Helium into 10-100 billion smaller families we know as stars – each unique in the amount of material captured.

Massive Supernova families collapse dramatically and fuse their simple Hydrogen and Helium into more complex atoms up to the element Iron (Fe), then exploded to create even more extreme conditions that gave birth to all the known elements in the Universe today.   But the life of a Supernova ends as an explosion and birth of elements above Iron. This new star stuff blasts out in all directions – matter and momentum for second and third generation stars to create more swirling gravitational systems – including our solar system.


So after billion years of expanding, cooling, inhaling simple hydrogen, creating and exhaling more complex elements to fill the Periodic Table, something new emerged within the Milky Way family - about 26,000 light years from its center - our Solar System.

About 5 billion years ago, our Sun became the gravitational center for a swirl of star stuff by capturing some of nearly every element possible - diverse rare star stuff that is a mere 1% of the observable mass in the Universe. This accretion disk continued to be transformed by smaller gravitational centers into something more ordered - more complex - children of the Sun. Planets emerged and Earth took form.

Earth was molded out of some of most precious elements in the Universe - the stuff needed to assembly complex living systems.

And the Sun was bathing Earth with a rainbow's range of energy - urging Life to begin.

And it did.

Summary / Conclusions
Like a classical symphony comprised of three movements, we will not applaud at the end of Part I and break the continuity of the Story.

This is a story of a sacred work - a complex work that will be played only once by many voices - with still more to come. As we stand together on our stage within this expanding Universe, by our very existence we can see each of us has been given a voice.

Let's simply pause, reflect for a moment how the Light has expanded, cooled, became transformed into elemental particles. We are now aware of the first children of the Light that emerged.  During some 380,000 years of expanding and cooling, the particles merged to give birth to all the primordial atoms (i.e. Hydrogen & some Helium) of the Universe – more complex children of the Light.   Gravitational centers emerged from the slight non-uniformities in the expanding cloud to sort (differentiate) each atom into one of 100 billion galactic families.      

Within each galactic family, solar families formed (and continue to form). One of the newer solar families to emerge in the Milky Way is our home - a place just right for the emergence of even something more complex from nothing but star stuff when set into motion by the energy of a benevolent source - a medium sized Main Sequence Star we call our Sun.

The stage is now prepared for Part II of the Story, we call Earth Time.   

For Further Reflection

  • What does this first part of the Universe Story tell us?
  • How do you personally connect to this first segment of the Universe Story?
  • What are you able to take away from these observations?
  • Were you able to follow the golden thread of Emergence - the story of ever increasing complexity?
  • By observing the past (history) we call Deep Time, what might we learn about the future? 
  • What are we now aware of today that we were not aware of 100, 1000, 10,000 years ago?
    (e.g. 96.4% of the Universe is thought to be "unobservable" and referred to as Dark Matter / Dark Energy)
  • Some say the Universe Story is the story of "Pure Energy (Light) deciding to do something." Do you agree?
  • Factoid: The adult human body consists of about 65% water by mass(weight). Each water molecule is comprised of two Hydrogen atoms and one Oxygen atom. Hydrogen appeared in the Universe within the first 300,000 years after the Big Bang or about 13,699,700,000 years ago. Oxygen atoms (as well as all the other 20 some elements that make up the human body) emerged later from Supernova furnaces prior to the formation of our Solar System some 4.5 billion years ago. Conclusion: Each of us is a unique living system that has newly emerged from nothing but recycled atoms that are between 4.5 and 13.7 billion years old.