"The large-scale homogeneity of the universe makes it very difficult to believe that the structure of the universe is determined by anything so peripheral as some complicated molecular structure on a minor planet orbiting a very average star in the outer suburbs of a fairly typical galaxy."

— Steven Hawking

17th-century Brueghel paintings trace the early, mysterious history of the telescope

Thanks to the much-heralded International Year of Astronomy, this much we know: Galileo used a telescope to observe the moon in 1609. But the inventor of the revolutionary resolutionary device remains unknown, and its early history is muddied by simultaneous discoveries and competing claims.
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