The universe is a vast and mysterious place, and the science of space is an ever-evolving field of study. Astronomy is the general field of natural sciences related to celestial objects, including Galactic and Extragalactic Solar System objects. It is the most popular area of study for those enrolled in the field, as it focuses on the physical processes and properties related to stars, heavenly bodies, and surrounding space. Astrophysics applies the principles of physics to astronomy, while cosmology studies the evolution and expansion of the universe.
Astrometry focuses on the precise position of heavenly bodies, and astrogeology relates geology to moons, asteroids, meteorites, and comets. NASA's Astrophysics division studies dark energy, dark matter, black holes, the Big Bang, types of galaxies, stars, and exoplanets. Radio astronomy is the study of the sky on radio frequencies; radio telescopes detect and amplify radio waves from space. Space science has added a new dimension to the search for knowledge, complementing and expanding what had been obtained from centuries of theoretical speculation and terrestrial observations.
Heliophysical missions have been carried out to study space weather, solar flares, and solar particles from the Sun. Astrobiology relies on astrochemistry to better understand substances in heavenly bodies, stars, and interstellar space.
Astronomy, astrophysics, cosmology, astrometry, astrogeology, NASA, radio astronomy, space science, heliophysics, astrobiology, and astrochemistry are all branches of science related to space exploration. The first scientific discovery made with instruments that orbit in space was the existence of the Van Allen radiation belts, discovered by Explorer 1 in 1958. Galileo Galilei was dubbed 'the father of modern science' by Albert Einstein for his discoveries made with a telescope. He was able to draw the surface of the Moon, discover the main moons of Jupiter, find sunspots on the Sun and much more. The first human spaceflight was conducted by Yuri Gagarin in 1961. Since then, many other countries have become involved in space activities through their scientists' participation in specific missions.
After Gagarin's flight, human crews carried out a series of important investigations from on-site geological research on the Moon to a wide variety of observations and experiments aboard orbiting spaceships. In 1962, NASA's Mariner 2 became the first spacecraft to visit another planet - Venus - and in 1964, the first radio astronomy satellite - Stargazer - was launched by NASA. This was the first attempt to study the universe in general from space. Several heliophysical missions have been carried out to study space weather, solar flares and the constant flow of solar particles from the Sun. Space exploration has opened up a world of possibilities for scientists around the world. It has allowed us to gain a better understanding of our place in the universe and has provided us with invaluable insights into its mysteries.
From dark energy to dark matter to exoplanets, there is still much to be discovered about our universe.