Space and ground-based telescopes have not only transformed astronomical research, but they are impressive feats of engineering in themselves. The Hubble Space Telescope — the first large space-based telescope — can lay claim to some of mankind’s greatest discoveries.
But astronomers have multiple means of seeing the universe. They’ve equipped a Boeing 747 with a telescope that looks out of a hole cut in the craft’s fuselage; they’ve placed 66 radio dishes on a plateau in the Chilean Atacama Desert, providing some of the sharpest views of the universe yet; and they’ve engineered a solar telescope that stays cool in the face of the Sun’s heat. They’ve even designed a totally different type of detector that can “hear” gravitational waves ringing in spacetime. Sky & Telescope keeps you up to date on new ingenious methods of peering into the depths of space.