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Ancient Greek and Egyptian scientists dreamed of viewing Earth's distant cousins scattered throughout the solar system but it was not until the early seventeenth century that telescopes made such dreams a reality. Simple telescopes provided the first extension of eyesight that shifted authority in the observation of the universe from men to instruments. Within a short time, telescopes defined the universe and ignited an interest in knowing the universe's origins and possibly even its eventual demise. Enormous improvements in telescopes in the twentieth century captured and focused the light from bodies billions of light years away. Newer ones even captured X-rays and Gamma rays that better defined the known universe. As the end of the century drew near, the Hubble telescope was launched into orbit to beam back the most dazzling photographs of the most distant bodies ever detected. Because of telescope improvements, astronomers have added a new quest in understanding the universe, the search for life beyond Earth.