24th Aug 2012

Eyes of the Earth

When the first telescopes were turned to the skies 400 years ago, people must have marvelled to see the infinitely vast blanket of stars that had previously been invisible to the naked eyeat the astonishing bigness of it all, and the comparative smallness of us. Our place in the universe was challenged, and as we slowly come to accept that humans are a tiny, young race, we continually build bigger and better telescopes in a never-ending effort to find out more about the wider universe. Today’s telescopes dwarf the first. Some are as large as buildings, with enormous light-gathering power, and the images above show a new generation of giant telescopes that will help humankind see further into the depths of the universe—and hopefully help us understand our part in this vast cosmic ecosystem.

(Image Credit: Joe McNally)

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