Fun With Telescopes


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History Of Telescopes
In 1609, an Italian mathematician named Galileo Galilee peered through an odd new device he
had invented to look at the stars in the night sky. Suddenly, this well known and familiar place
revealed itself as a barely exposed mystery. It was then that Galileo knew this was a ground
breaking device.

The moon is a gray-white orb to the naked eye. Looking through this new instrument, Galileo
was able to see shadows and bright spots on the surface of the moon. He could see that the
moon also had mountains and valleys.

At the time, the planets were thought to be odd stars that “wandered” the sky. Through
Galileo’s device, he could see that the planets were accompanied by moving pinpoints of lights
which were moons of their own!

Galileo quickly published his discoveries in a bulletin he titled “Message from the Stars”. His
claims, at first, were met with wonder and excitement. He presented his new device to the
leaders of the time including the Catholic Church in Rome.

Eventually this device would be named “telescopio”. In Greek, telescopio means “to see at a
distance”. This would eventually evolve into the word telescope, but it certainly was an apt
name for this new invention.

Galileo’s telescope was a simple instrument compared with the ones we use today. It was a
tube with two lenses: the convex primary lens that curved outward and the concave eyepiece
lens that curved inward. He built the device after hearing about the newly invented spyglass
which was an instrument used by the military to peer into enemy camps.

This first telescope used the same principle that all telescopes would eventually rely on. That
principle held that the combination of the two lenses gathered more light than the human eye
could collect on its own. The lenses would focus that light and form an image. Because the
image was formed by the bending of light, or refraction, these telescopes came to be known as
refracting telescopes, or simply, refractors




Keywords: celestron;telescope;telescopes
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