A Sense of the Enemy
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No one knows precisely how Hans Lippershey came upon the invention. One legend holds that some children wandered into his spectacle shop, began playing with the lenses on display, and suddenly started to laugh. Tiny objects far away appeared as though they were right in front of them. The miniscule had become gigantic. Though the truth of that tale is doubtful, the story of the telescope’s invention remains a mystery. We know only that four centuries ago, on October 2, 1608, Hans Lippershey received a patent for a device that is still recognizable as a modern refractory telescope.