Here you will find newest information about every celestial object that populates the Solar System, its neighbourhoods, the Milky Way galaxy and outer deep space. Prime goal of this online astronomical encyclopedia is to promote among the general public knowledge about our universe. We believe that prosperity of the human race lying altogether on space exploration of the Solar System and its eventual colonization. Prediction shows that at the end of 21st century the nearest stars may become reachable by first generation of interstellar spacecrafts. Such achievement will open up surrounding cosmos and place humanity in status of truly spacefaring civilization.
Why it is so important to learn astronomy? Surely, that isn't obvious to everyone, but there are some serious reasons. As you know, at the present moment the Earth planet is quickly progressing to the state of disaster. It is not just the bad ecology that left the natural environment contaminated with a broad range of hazardous chemicals like pesticides, oil spills and radioactive waste. The last substance tends to leak and would poison environment for many thousands years. Unrepairable detriment caused by rapid deforestation and as a consequence the soil degradation could lead to desert encroachment and severe famine. Wikipedia claims that over 40% of agricultural land is significantly degraded. Shrinking arable land pushes food prices up and would bring humanity on the brink of extinction.
And this is not the all story! Today our planet is heavily overpopulated, exhausted of non-renewable organic and mineral resources, battered by global warming and rising temperature. Drought and floods that were rare in the last century today is a common place. World undergoing swift transformation toward inevitable catastrophe! It's looks like that state of calamity soon would be on a permanent basis. I can't see any improvements in the current situation. Undoubtedly, civilization faced with grave challenges, and our choice is quite simple: Make decisive step into space or die. We are going to colonize the Solar System as quickly as possible or doomed to share fate with extinct species. Seems that level of current prosperity is too brittle to remain in such status for too long.
Because our planet is running out of resources, the media is overfilled with gloomy forecasts about our limited future. There are many existential risks that have potential to eliminate modern society. The most popular doomsday scenario is a huge meteorite colliding with Earth. Resulting megatsunami and global earthquake will sweeps off civilization from the face of the Earth. Another kind of catastrophe is an eruption of supervolcano. Molten magma could totally flood such territories as some, medium size countries. Volcanic ashes would block solar light for several years, causing abruptly drops in temperature like effect of nuclear winter. We can't do anything about it with present level of contemporary technology. A bitter truth, but is there way for better future?
Modern economy heavily depend on resources that are strictly limited. Fortunately, the great majority of this materials could be obtained from the space, in case we are starting colonization of the Solar System. Abundance of the solar energy makes this proposal particularly attractive. Thus, expanding industrial activities into the space is good alternative to a depicted pessimistic future. In 1976 O'Neill represented the scientific world a book, where he suggested to use the Near-Earth asteroids as main base to construct the space habitat. So-called O'Neill cylinder will provide place to house in comfort as much as one hundred thousand people. Being several miles across the round structure would rotate around the axis to generate artificial gravity. Freely floating in space in loose formations they could help us colonize every corner of the Solar System with the least effort. Calculation showed that proposed idea is absolutely feasible.
Humanity can't stay at home forever without being challenged with various threats. Cosmic menace, like nearby explosion of the supernova, can in fact, annihilate the Earth into smouldering remnants. And this is not just abstract possibility. Measurements of Vega star clearly indicating that this blue supergiant is about to turn into supernova, that would be accompanying with colossal explosion. To secure survival, humans must spread across the universe. Tremendous task, but any delays would be unforgiving. All available resources of world economy must be transferred to accomplish this feat. No single nation can do that by alone, that implies full coordination between all involved countries. You can participate in that undertaking personally by joining the astronomer's community as a devoted member.