The Future of Astronomy

Astronomy will always be the final frontier in human knowledge. No matter how advanced we become, we will never be able to explore even a tiny fraction of the universe.
Some of the greatest mysteries are yet to be solved.
Expansion of the universe
It has been known for sometime now that the universe is expanding. This is the common red shift that people observe. What has recently been discovered however is that the expansion rate is increasing not decreasing.This has been discovered by measuring super nova(star explosions), and calculating their distance. The other major discovery is that 96% of the universe is not made of matter like us. It is composed of dark matter and dark energy. We still have no real idea what this is, and yet the majority of the universe is composed of it. This was deduced by the fact that there was not enough mass to keep galaxies in their orbits and that they had to be this missing mass.
Unlike normal matter, which is attractive, dark matter appears to be repulsive hence the increase in the expansion rate.
It really isn’t very surprising how little we know about astronomy as we have only studied the subject seriously for a few hundred years. With the advance of modern computers however it is possible to simulate vast galaxies and even the universe itself.
It seems likely now that the big bang was a one time event and we are not likely to see a collapse of the universe as once thought.
Alien life forms
It really is very surprising that we have been unable to discover intelligent life forms in the universe. We now know many stars have planets like our own so it seems likely that intelligent life form should have developed by now.It is possible that they are simply watching us and not making contact. A sufficiently advanced life form would be able to shield themselves from our detection. It seems unlikely however that all life forms are doing this. One possibility is that life forms have simply annihilated each other instead of advancing further. We are at the moment prone to be wiped out by a asteroid collision as we have not settled anyway apart from the earth.
Origins of the universe
Cern will be performing experiments next year on the origin of mass. It really is surprising but we still don’t know what gives particles mass. The energy required to detect these particles have been outside of what we can produce. It is only now however that we have the technology to create energies of this magnitude. What I find fascinating at that exploring the sub atomic area gives answers to the cosmological arena as well.
It is surprising how much we have understood about our universe. We know about star formation and nuclear fusion. We can predict the orbits of planets and solar systems.
There is so much however that we still do not know about. I think the next 100 years will bring about some incredible discoveries that could change how we view ourselves forever.