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Throughout human history, the invention and improvement of telescope occupied an indispensable place in the advancement of astronomy. And this blog is devoted to introducing  the history of telescope in last four hundred years. The earliest known workingtelescopewas created by Hans Lippersheyin 1608 to “see things far away as if they are nearby”. Restricted by the knowledge and technology in that period, this original telescope had a quite simple structure when comparing with  far-advanced large reflecting telescopes nowadays. It consists only of a convex and a concave lens and has only 3 times magnification. Still such kind of telescope spread rapidly after its appearance and opened the gates to the revolution in observational astronomy in later years. Soon after its introduction to Italy, Galileo, one of the most prominent scientist in modern science, improved and perfected the telescope by grinding his own glasses and change the arrangement of lenses. His masterpiece, “Galileo’s telescope”, became the prototype of modern day refracting telescope, with the difference that the objective lens and eye lens of his telescope was made of different lenses, while modern ones made use of two convex lenses. And when we stepped into the 20th century, scientists began to build large research reflectors , such as the 60-inch Hale telescope in 1908 and 100-inch Hooker telescope in 1917 to fulfill their demand for precision photographic imaging that could not be achieved by refracting telescopes before. And with the fast development of science in post-war periods, active and adaptive optics, together with infrared, X-ray  and Gamma-ray telescopes , were also employed in discovering unknown parts of our universe that haven’t been touched before.

One thought on “Telescope

  1. You made some really interesting points about how the telescope, as a technology, has evolved over the years. You mentioned that one of the earliest working telescopes was created by Hans Lippershey in 1608. Given this, it may be interesting to think about telescopic structures created much before the Enlightenment period (I happened to write about one example for my second blog post). For instance, in 2016, the Royal Astronomical Society announced that they may have found evidence of stone tomb structures in Portugal that were built six thousand years ago, perhaps for telescopic purposes. The tombs operated by featuring long, but slender, entrances that functioned to “zoom” in on celestial bodies (particularly, in this case, the star Aldebaran) that were not visible by simple, unaided, visual observation. Great post!


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