Telescope | A short recap

  • 1608: Dutch spectacle maker Hans Lippershey files the first known patent application for a refracting telescope, although it is unclear whether he actually invented the device.
  • 1609: Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei builds his own telescope and makes observations of the Moon, Jupiter’s moons, and other celestial objects, leading to the publication of his “Starry Messenger” in 1610.
  • 1611: Johannes Kepler publishes “Dioptrice,” a treatise on optics that includes a description of a refracting telescope with an improved design.
  • 1668: Sir Isaac Newton builds the first reflecting telescope, which uses a curved mirror instead of lenses to gather and focus light.
  • 1675: Danish astronomer Ole Rømer measures the speed of light using observations of Jupiter’s moons with a telescope.
  • 1781: Sir William Herschel discovers Uranus, the first planet to be discovered using a telescope.
  • 1839: French physicist François Arago develops the first achromatic lenses for telescopes, which greatly improve image quality by reducing chromatic aberration.
  • 1845: The first photograph of the Moon is taken using a telescope by French photographer Louis Daguerre.
  • 1871: American astronomer Henry Draper takes the first photograph of a stellar spectrum using a telescope.
  • 1963: The first radio telescope is built, allowing astronomers to observe and study radio waves emitted by celestial objects.
  • 1990: The Hubble Space Telescope is launched, allowing astronomers to make unprecedented observations of the universe from space.
  • 2021: The James Webb Space Telescope is launched, representing a major advancement in space-based astronomy with its ability to see further into the universe and observe the formation of the first galaxies.

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