A brief history of a telescope

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by JoffreyF
Last updated 7 years ago

Planets & Astronomy

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A brief history of a telescope

A brief history of the telescope.

James Gregory, a Scottish optician and mathematician, contributed much to the area of astronomy with his new reflecting telescope. With this new invention, astronomers would not have to worry about problems like chromatic aberration, which plagued the refracting telescope for ages.

In the year 1610, an Italian man by the name of Galileo was credited with the discovery of the refracting telescope. His findings proved that the Earth and accompanying planets revolved around the sun. This was contrary to popular, if not dominant, belief at the time, which claimed that the celestial objects revolved around the Earth.


An Eglishman by the name of Chester Hall greatly improved the use of the refracting telescope by applying his new concept called achromatic refeactors. Here, he used two opposite lenses to that would break the light down in one and recombine them again after passing through another. With this new method, scientists no longer had to fret about chromatic aberration.

Carl von Steinheil was a chemist that aided in the operation of reflecting telescopes by coming up with a method that made mirrors more reflective by adding precipitated silver to the curved surfaces. Such an advancement helped in the creation large reflectors, like the 200-inch one and Mount Palomar.

With the invention of the radio telescope not, scientists could now peer deep into space and look even farther than that of its predecessors: the refractor and relfector. It also grants the ability to see stars that emit too little light, look at galaxies obscured by dust and debris, and continue necessary research during bad weather.







In 1990, the world's largest radio telescope to date was launched into space. Named after the one who discovered the Red Shift (Edwin Hubble), the Hubble Space Telescope has the ability to reach far beyond the reaches of any telescope on Earth. It can see almost all the galaxies that inhabit the universe, and recieve shorter to broader wavelengths than earth-bound receivers. The Hubble Telescope is currently the most reliable satelite in space.



Galileo's "optik tube"

Gregorian telescope

Achromatic effect

Carl von Steinheil

Modern radio telescope

Hubble Space Telescope


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