The history of the universe is punctuated by significant events represented by the panels above the timeline. Several are grouped near the beginning, when forces were shaping the universe we see today. Another set, near the end of the timeline, reflects recent events which interest us because they involve the evolution of life on Earth.
In the earliest moments when the Big Bang burst open into the universe, the pattern was set for the structure of the universe we see today. That structure is revealed by glowing galaxies of stars. Galaxies congregate in clusters and these clusters themselves are clustered in strands that form webbing that extends throughout the universe. This web work is the ultimate structure of reality.
Nearly 2,200 pieces of celestial jewelry form the ribbon of time. Longtime Friends Of The Observatory board member Kara Knack collected them over nearly 25 years and generously contributed them to form the timeline. The cosmic shapes and designs of the pieces symbolize astronomical objects and our connection with them.