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Four hundred years ago, Galileo took a telescope the size of a rolling pin and turned it to the heavens. With that singular act, our view of the cosmos was dismantled and rewritten. We learned that the moon is not smooth, but craggy and cratered, and that Jupiter has moons of its own. Observations of Venus revealed the planet moving through phases, overturning in spectacular, not to say heretical, fashion the flawed belief that celestial bodies circle the Earth.

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