Physics is full of big, interesting questions about phenomenon such as black holes. This illustration shows the supermassive black hole at the heart of the active galaxy NGC 3783 in the southern constellation of Centaurus. M. Kornmesser/ESO hide caption

itoggle caption M. Kornmesser/ESO

We think that life came from non-life, from the increasing complexity of chemical reactions between biomolecules present on the primordial Earth. But what about the universe? How did it come to be if there was nothing before? iStockphoto hide caption

itoggle caption iStockphoto

Part of the ALMA array on the Chajnantor plateau of Chile points skyward to the Milky Way, our own galaxy. The center of our galaxy is visible as a yellowish bulge crossed by dark lanes, which are themselves huge clouds of interstellar dust. José Francisco Salgado/ESO hide caption

itoggle caption José Francisco Salgado/ESO

The hunt for dark matter started with astronomer Fritz Zwicky's observations of the Coma galaxy cluster in the 1930s. This recent image of the Coma cluster combines optical and X-ray observations from the Chandra mission. J.Sanders et al/NASA/CXC/MPE/SDSS hide caption

itoggle caption J.Sanders et al/NASA/CXC/MPE/SDSS

Your direct connection with the stars and all of the space in between them. iStockphoto.com hide caption

itoggle caption iStockphoto.com

Even if we find other life out there, in the depths of space, life here will still be a rare gem that must be worshipped and preserved at all costs. ESO hide caption

itoggle caption ESO

A bubble in space: Abell 39 marks the death of a star like the sun. Wind from the aging central star pushes into the surrounding interstellar gas, building up a dense shell that glows blue in this image. After 36 years of travel, the Voyager spacecraft is just now reaching the edge of the sun's own wind-blown bubble. WIYN/NOAO/NSF hide caption

itoggle caption WIYN/NOAO/NSF