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The Current State of Astronomy and Some Major Challenges. . .

Galileo, perhaps more than any other person, was responsible for the birth of modern science. His renowned conflict with the Catholic Church was central to his philosophy, for Galileo was one of the first to argue that man could hope to understand how the world works, and more-over, that we could do this by observing the real world.

Galileo had believed the Copernican theory (that the planets orbited the sun) since early on, but it was only when he found the evidence needed to support the idea that he started to publicly support.

Stephen W. Hawking
A Brief History of Time

From the beginning of time, man has been awed by the sight of the night sky. Ever since, we have tried to probe its depths, fathom it secrets, and find our position among the stars. And so, our search continues still, to this day. Not content with eyesight alone, we invent optical, infrared, and radio telescopes. The development of gamma and x-ray sensors followed. Lately, orbiting satellites are put into service as platforms for our tools all to assist our exploration of the cosmos.

What amazing discoveries are made. This flat Earth swells and becomes a ball floating in space. Earth leaves the Center of our Universe and finds itself orbiting a minor star surrounded by planets, moons and asteroids. Comets zoom through the void past us (some even hits us.)

With amazement, the structure of the milky Way is defined, including us on Earth as part of this Milky Way Galaxy. The scope of our Universe grows, finding ourselves and our local family of twenty or so galaxies sailing along among billions of galaxies. There's more, the apparent staid motion of the night sky unveils itself to expose a massive outrushing in all directions; that points to a violent beginning and an undefined ending.

More mysteries are found. Quasars, the very faint, shining star-like pinpoints of light are found near the edges of our Universe. The mystery of Quasars staggers the imagination, expanding unbelievable amounts of energy, greater than any galaxy times a hundred or more.

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