The science of astronomy continues to find new fields of inquiry even today With the latest generation of telescopes, entire new classes of objects are available for study. As hundreds of new planets are discovered outside the solar system, the search for life elsewhere in the universe, and especially intelligent life, has intensified. A whole new science— astrobiology—studies the conditions under which life might survive among the stars. The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) program is constantly listening for telltale signals of alien civilizations. Powerful telescopes that allow us to look closer and closer to the Big Bang are also revealing the secrets of galaxy formation, and are on the verge of showing us the first generation of stars. In these and other ways, modern astronomy is bringing us ever closer to our origins.
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