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History of Astronomical Telescopes

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History of Astronomical Telescopes
Latest company news about History of Astronomical Telescopes

The year 2009 was designated by the United Nations as the International Year of Astronomy. This year was chosen because 2009 is the 400th anniversary of Galileo's invention of the astronomical telescope. The following is a brief historical development of astronomical telescopes.
In 1608, a Dutch spectacle craftsman aligned a convex lens and a concave lens and found that distant objects became closer and larger. This was the first telescope with records.

But it is now recognized that the first astronomical telescope was invented by the Italian astronomer Galileo in 1609. He made a telescope with a magnification of 30 in one day, and pointed the telescope to the sky, so the astronomical telescope was born. He became the first person in human history to see the moons of Jupiter (the four bright moons of Jupiter are therefore also called Galilean moons), the first person to see the rings of Saturn, The first person to observe that Venus has waxing and waning like the moon, the first person to see the craters and valleys on the surface of the moon, the first person to prove that the sun rotates by observing sunspots, the first person to discover that the Milky Way is composed of countless stars, his instrument was also called a 'telescope' for the first time, and later specifically called his refracting telescope a 'Galilean telescope'.

Because light of different wavelengths has different refractive indices in the medium, refracting telescopes inevitably have the problem of chromatic aberration. In the 17th century, the solution that people thought of to solve the chromatic aberration was to lengthen the focal length. When the focal length is long enough, the chromatic aberration becomes negligible. For refracting telescopes, the length of the lens barrel must be as long as the focal length. The focal length of the refracting telescope with the longest lens barrel made at that time reached 45 meters.


The red, green and blue light rays focus on different positions after passing through the lens, resulting in chromatic aberration

In 1669 Newton manufactured the first mirror (mirror) reflecting telescope, known as the 'Newtonian telescope'. The Newton version of the reflector used a spherical surface, which was later improved to a paraboloid. Later, Cassegrain changed the second reflector surface from a flat mirror to a curved mirror, which greatly shortened the lens barrel without sacrificing the focal length.

In 1773, the first combined lens telescope made of different refractive index materials was manufactured, and the problem of chromatic aberration was greatly improved.

The combination of two lenses of different materials can reduce chromatic aberration so that light of different colors can be focused together

The past 40 years have been the golden age for the development of astronomical telescopes, and a wide variety of telescopes with various functions have been put into use. Today, the telescope has broken through the barriers of the visible light band and is moving towards full-band observation. At the same time, the functions of the telescope are also greatly enriched, rather than limited to the image photography analysis in the past.


Among modern telescopes, many telescopes provide us with valuable observation data, which greatly promotes the development of astronomy, cosmology and physics.
Pub Time : 2023-05-12 16:14:54 >> News list
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