Answering this question is one of the key goals in NASA's Astrophysics Division, and is the main objective of its Cosmic Origins (COR) Program.
Here are some of the topics our work focuses on:
No one mission or observatory can provide all the answers. The Cosmic Origins Program includes telescopes that together operate across much of the electromagnetic spectrum. From the iconic Hubble Space Telescope’s groundbreaking science to the future discoveries awaiting us with the James Webb Space Telescope and more to come, Cosmic Origin's facilities help us in our search for answers to the biggest questions about our universe and its origins.
Astronomers have discovered the most distant black hole yet seen in X-rays, using NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory (purple) and infrared data from NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope (red, green, blue). The black hole is at an early stage of growth that had never been witnessed before, where its mass is similar to that of its host galaxy. This result may explain how some of the first supermassive black holes in the universe formed. Read more »