Posted by: Sandy Steinman | October 11, 2019

A 16-Million-Year-Old Tree Tells a Deep Story of the Passage of Time 

Smithsonian reports

To explain the exceedingly long life of the planet, the Smithsonian’s new fossil hall designers began with this arboreal wonder.

Each yearly delineation on the sequoia’s surface is a small part of a far grander story that ties together all of life on Earth. Scientists know this as Deep Time. It’s not just on the scale of centuries, millennia, epochs, or periods, but the ongoing flow that goes back to the origins of our universe, the formation of the Earth, and the evolution of all life, up through this present moment. It’s the backdrop for everything we see around us today, and it can be understood through techniques as different as absolute dating of radioactive minerals and counting the rings of a prehistoric tree. Each part informs the whole.

Read more: A 16-Million-Year-Old Tree Tells a Deep Story of the Passage of Time | At the Smithsonian | Smithsonian


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