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 had invented a device described 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 its original design, ultimately magnifying by twenty-one times what could be seen through the glass. Then he did something unusual: He turned his new telescope up - toward the sky. What he saw forever changed how mankind views the heavens.
In this story about space, take a virtual journey with the Hubble telescope to “see” what it sees. Hop aboard the Mars Rovers (Spirit and Opportunity) to explore previously unseen landscapes. Discover what a comet looks like as a NASA animation reveals a “Deep Impact” collision. Visit a science museum in Florence, Italy to watch videos and see some of Galileo’s handiwork.
Step back to the Middle Ages (when William the Conqueror took over Britain) to witness how a comet was then viewed as a bad omen. See the Bayeux Tapestry (which pictures Halley’s Comet) as it comes alive in animation. Visit Saturn and explore its many moons and rings. Meet the James Webb space telescope (which will replace Hubble in 2010) and get an up-close view of brilliantly colored nebulae. Explore hundreds of NASA’s most famous pictures, videos, animations and audio clips.
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