ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS:
Astronomy and Astrophysics develops our understanding of the cosmic environment and is crucial to answering many of the questions of astrobiology, such as what are the characteristics of planetary systems orbiting other stars and how did the universe originate and evolve to produce the galaxies, stars, and planets we see today?
To help answer these fundamental questions, Astronomers, Astrophysicists and Astrobiologists will need advanced technologies, space missions and future large telescope facilities in space such as the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), the Ground-based Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) and the Square Km Array (SKA).
The potential discovery of life on exoplanets and the origin of black holes and dark matter in space are some of the big questions in this area. Astrophysicists seek to understand how matter, energy, space, and time behave under the extraordinarily diverse conditions of the cosmos.
Want to learn more?
A good general introduction to Astronomy: http://space.about.com/cs/astr
Edinburgh Royal Observatory provides an excellent portal for exploring diverse local and international astronomy projects: http://www.roe.ac.uk/
A free downloadable planetarium for your PC, great for exploring the sky from any place and time: http://www.stellarium.org/
Technical specifications and news regarding the impending construction of the Thirty Metre Telescope in Hawaii: http://www.tmt.org/
The submillimeter telescope, the Cerro Chajnantor Atacama Telescope: http://www.ccatobservatory.org