How did we get here?

There are many questions associated with the creation and evolution of the cosmos. How were the first stars and galaxies created? How did they influence subsequent galaxy, star, and planet formation? How did the creation of the universe lead to our existence?

With the current fleet of Astrophysics missions, researchers are able to study the first stars and galaxies forming out of the darkness of the early universe with state-of-the-art technologies that act as powerful time machines, peering back over 13.5 billion years.

These space missions are aimed at expanding our knowledge of the universe and how we came to be by using a variety of observational and theoretical techniques. From strategic missions (James Webb Space Telescope, Hubble Space Telescope, Chandra X-ray Observatory, and the future SPHEREx and Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope) to innovative Explorer-class missions (Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory, NuSTAR, TESS, IXPE, and NICER) to smaller missions flown on CubeSats, balloons, and sounding rockets, the Astrophysics Division enables scientists to collect data that will unfold a wide variety of mysteries of the universe.

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