While some billionaires may have the opportunity to enjoy leisure travel into space these days, most of us will remain earthbound, having to content ourselves with gazing at the night sky as our ancestors did, imagining creatures, gods, or other symbols in the starry heavens.
But our vision is limited by our eyes and the incomprehensible distance between us and the celestial bodies we wish to see. Not many of us have easy access to observatories to view the cosmos through powerful telescopes, although opportunities for backyard astronomers are better than ever now with improvements in home telescopes. But to get a glimpse into deep space and marvel at the extraordinary beauty of what’s out there we can look at the images sent back to Earth from the Hubble Telescope, which was put into orbit by the Space Shuttle Discovery in 1990. Since then its transmitted astounding photographs of what it sees light years away, and now astronomers have chosen what they consider Hubble’s top ten images. Take a look and contemplate our place in the cosmos.