We have come a long, long way since the very first curiosity and mystically driven studies of the heavens. The sedate, static Universe of the ancient Greeks, consisting of planets and stars stretching out to just beyond the orbit of Saturn, has been replaced by a violent, dynamic Universe extending out to an unimaginable distance of 10000 million light years. To the relatively gentle stars have been added the remarkably energetic quasars and X-ray binaries, with their relativistic gravitational power generators. The super-dense neutron stars have been revealed as pulsars and have been shown to be the end product of supernova events, the most immense of cosmic explosions. Further, the broad characteristics of the observable Universe as far as its outermost limits have been established, enabling a serious attack to be made on the great question of the origin and evolution of the Universe.