In April of 2013, NASA released this amazingly detailed image of the Horsehead Nebula—which Hubble took in infrared light—to celebrate the 23rd anniversary of Hubble's launch. Image credit: NASA, ESA, and The Hubble Heritage Team (STSci / AURA). Online, courtesy NASA.
Facts which at first seem improbable will,
even on scant explanation,
drop the cloak which has hidden them
and stand forth in naked and simple beauty.
Galileo was a well-known math professor at the University of Padua when he learned about an interesting discovery.
In 1608, someone in the Netherlands (most likely Hans Lipperhey, an optician) had invented a device which Lipperhey described (in his patent application) as “an instrument for looking into the distance.” We know that “instrument” as a telescope - from the Greek words tele [“far”] and scopeo [“I see"].
Fascinated with the device, Galileo improved the original design - ultimately magnifying by twenty-one times what could be seen through the glass - and showed it to a group of lawmakers in Venice. Then he did something unusual: He turned his new telescope up - toward the sky.
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