Before telescopes were invented, people gazed at the night sky with amazement and dreamed of a closer look. The invention of the telescope in 1608 gave humans their chance to explore the vastness of the Universe. In fact, most of what we know about the Universe comes from studying the sky with telescopes. Telescopes use lenses and mirrors to gather light and produce images. Galileo was the first to use telescopes for astronomy.

Image credits: main image, courtesy of AMNH.