Fun Facts about Telescopes

FUN FACT 1: Galileo is often created as the inventor of the telescope when in fact he was simply the first to use it to study the night sky.

  • The first known practical telescopes were invented in the Netherlands at the beginning of the 1600s, by using glass lenses. They found use in both terrestrial applications and astronomy.
  • The inventor is called Hans Lippershey.
  • hans-lippershey-invented-the-telescope

Picture from Wikipedia

FUN FACT 2: The word telescope is derived from Greek words meaning “far” and “to look and see”.

FUN FACT 3: The reflecting telescope was invented by Isaac Newton

  • Isaac Newton was one of an elite group of individuals considered to have possessed one of the greatest scientific minds in history.
  • The first reflecting telescope built by Isaac Newton in 1668 is a landmark in the history of telescopes, being the first known successful reflecting telescope.
  • Newton made this telescope to study optics, not to observe the sky.
  • Although other scientists would have to improve Newton’s design before these types of telescopes became popular, today we still call them Newtonian reflectors, after their creator.
  • mn010113_w561
    Picture from Optics & Binoculars

FUN FACT 4: Most all telescopes have the ability to detect some type of electromagnetic waves.

  • Most detect electromagnetic radiation, but there are major differences in how astronomers must go about collecting light (electromagnetic radiation) in different frequency bands.
  • Telescopes may be classified by the wavelengths of light they detect: X-ray telescopes, Ultraviolet telescopes, Optical telescopes, Infrared telescopes, Submillimetre telescopes, Fresnel Imager and X-ray optics.
  • There are three main optical types:
Picture from NZ Telescopes

2 thoughts on “Fun Facts about Telescopes

  1. These were really interesting facts to read about the telescope! I especially found the image that you had attached to Fact 4 to be really helpful as I learn about the different types of telescopes for the test! Reading your post makes me interested to know more specifically about how astronomers/scientists chose to use different optical types of telescopes to view an object. For instance, do most astronomers use a reflecting telescope or a mixture of reflecting and refracting? Great post!


    1. Thank you for reading my blog!As far as I know, astronomers use reflecting telescopes more than refracting telescopes because refracting telescopes put a very serious limitation on how large the telescope’s aperture can be.


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