Large rendering of Hubble telescope.

Hubble Space Telescope

Optical telescopes gather visible light, just like our eyes, but greatly magnified. Using special cameras that work the same way our digital cameras work, astronomers can photograph planets, stars, and galaxies. For hundreds of years we have built optical telescopes on Earth, but they work even better in space. This is because light twinkles—it wiggles or jiggles as it travels through Earth's atmosphere, so putting an optical telescope in space makes a big difference and we get much clearer photographs. The Hubble Space Telescope has given us some amazing views of the Universe that we could not see from Earth.