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:
Stellar lifecycles and the evolution of the elements
Early formation and evolution of planetary systems
Archaeology of the Milky Way and its neighbors
History and evolution of galaxies and supermassive black holes
First light and reionization
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.