Mankind always had a fascination for the study of the heavens. Ever since the most ancient times man has looked up into the night sky with wonder and awe. But great leaps forward were made possible only with advancing technology. The first giant step in the progress of man’s understanding of the reality which exists outside our home planet of earth came with the discoveries made by Galileo and his indispensable telescope. Since that time, as telescopes improved, so has our understanding of the universe. However, as long as telescopes were confined to the surface of the earth, they were seriously restricted in their ability to see past an “ocean” of atmosphere which separates them from space. Even telescopes on the highest mountain tops did not completely eliminate the detrimental effects of the earth’s atmosphere on the telescopes ability to observe space.
In 1990, with the deployment of the first telescope not hindered by the obscuring effects of the earth’s atmosphere, one of the greatest advances in the history of astronomy was made. The Hubble Space Telescope, in orbit around the earth, allows astronomers to see the universe as never before. Great leaps in our understanding of galaxies, objects in space, gravity, time, the age of the universe, and many other subjects have been made possible with the help of the Hubble Space Telescope.