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Who Invented Telescope?

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So, who invented telescope? The telescope is one of the most important inventions in human history; however, we’re not sure who deserves credit. We can trace the telescope back to early eyeglass and lens manufacturers. People frequently used glasses in Europe in the 1400s.

The lenses used in those times weren’t acute, powerful, polished, or clear. They were not suitable for astronomical observation due to their flaws.

Early telescopes had a similar appearance. Tube-like structures with one or more cylindrical portions made up the first telescopes.

Manufacturers use Tin, lead, cardboard, and wood to make the tube, which they would keep together with various ingredients like leather, cloth, glue, and leather. Manufacturers used polished lenses and mirrors to reflect the light and further magnify the items inside the tubes. 

Like others constructed in the 1600s, Galileo’s telescope had major flaws. Early telescopes were extremely tiny and had a limited field of vision. Unfortunately, objects further away were practically difficult to see.

Earlier telescopes lacked a stable location for the eye, which meant that images could move out of focus, making them out of the lens or blur the images. The smaller sizes also caused chromatic aberrations, which meant the telescope couldn’t focus or align the object’s colors.

Astronomers began to develop more powerful and clearer telescopes over time. For example, English astronomer Thomas Harriot created a piece to magnify the objects six times in England. After it, Galileo created an eight-fold magnifying telescope.

But who invented the telescope? And how it further developed into something which now scientists use to study space are some of the questions we will answer here.

Who First Invented Telescope?

Who First Invented Telescope?
Who First Invented Telescope?

Hans Lippershey, a Dutch eyeglass maker, was the first who patented the telescope in his name. Lippershey claimed ownership of a gadget named a telescope that had the quality to magnify the objects in 1608. He made his telescope of the convex objective lens.

According to legend, Seeing two toddlers playing with lenses in a shop inspired him to create his design after. Through those lenses, they were making clouds appear closer. Others alleged he stole the idea from Zacharias Jansen, another eyeglass maker at the time.

Lipperhey covered his telescope with a mask that allowed only a little light to pass through. The visuals became clearer but remained dim when he reduced the quantity of light and focused it.

Lipperhey’s telescope was the first of its kind, and it marked the inception of the telescope’s evolution. Jansen and Lippershey worked on optical instruments and lived in the same town.

On the other hand, scholars typically think there is no proof of Lippershey developing the telescope alone. However, because of the patent application made by him first, people credit Lippershey with creating the telescope. In contrast, people credit Jansen with developing the compound microscope. Both appear to have played a role in the creation of both instruments.

After some time, when Lippershey came as an inventor, someone called Jacob Metius came out to patent the telescope, which created further confusion. Because of the counterclaims, the Dutch government denied both applications.

Officials also stated that the technology was simple to replicate, making patenting problematic. Metius received a tiny compensation, but the government gave Lippershey a large sum to duplicate his telescope.

Did Galileo Galilei Invent the Telescope?

Did Galileo Galilei Invent the Telescope?
Did Galileo Galilei Invent the Telescope?

Galileo Galilei didn’t invent the telescope, but he helped further advance the instrument. Galileo Galilei learned about “Dutch perspective glasses” in 1609 and constructed his own within days – without ever seeing one.

He improved his apparatus, which could magnify items by 20 times, and presented it to the Senate. He also made his telescope skyward which was the first telescope. According to Stillman Drake’s book “Galileo at Work: His Scientific Biography,” the Senate offered him the position of professor at the Padua University with proportional increments in his salary.

Galileo was the first to use a telescope to observe the sky. He could see mountains and craters on the Moon and became the one to identify the Milky Way first. He also found Saturn’s rings, sunspots, and other moons of Jupiter. 

Galileo became increasingly convinced of the Copernican model of the planets as he saw them. Galileo dedicated work to Pope Urban VIII called “Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, Ptolemaic and Copernican.”

The government asked him to come before the inquisition of Rome because his ideas were considered unorthodox. He reached an agreement with the judge, and the judge gave him house arrest, where he worked and wrote until he died in 1642.

Galileo’s telescope gained immense popularity and success. The first telescope he built magnified objects three times their original size. He developed a device that could magnify eight times, finally thirty times, by redesigning the telescope.

The increased magnification of celestial objects had an immediate and major influence. However, he wasn’t the only one who made his name under telescopic discoveries. Other technological devices that were at work at that time also made their space in Galileo’s work. 

Galileo presented his discoveries to the learned world skillfully using the work in his publications. This isn’t the story of a lone thinker putting together a different universe aspect. Rather, in the early 17th century, a group of people grabbed freshly invented devices and grazed the stars.

Galileo, unlike the other witnesses, published his results quickly. Galileo recognized the relevance and value of these observations earlier than his contemporaries in some circumstances. Moreover, Galileo’s theories have stood strong with time because of his insight and forethought in publishing them.

Who Invented the Modern Telescope?

Who Invented the Modern Telescope?
Who Invented the Modern Telescope?

Kepler studied telescopic optics in-depth and designed his famous Keplerian Telescope device with two convex lenses. Then, in 1611, he produced one. While the design redefined the device’s magnification, it also turned the image witnessed upside down.

He was influential in the optical field and his contributions to astronomy. He was dubbed the “Founder of Modern Optics” for his pioneering treatise Astronomia Pars Optica.

We can peer into deep space and study celestial objects from the comfort of our homes with our telescope. It has also helped us to understand our Earth as well.

Modern telescopes can detect Waves and Rays, which are stranger to the naked eyes than radio waves or x-rays. Telescopes show the interaction between our planet and other planets and can display gravity and aspects of physics.

Telescopes have recently enabled us to study the systems of other planets similar to ours, which have composition and characteristics like ours. For example, we could be able to locate other habitable planets or worlds with circumstances conducive to life.

You can find another modern telescope in high altitudes imaging precision photographs. These are large reflectors used to study the sky and phenomena occurring there. For example, a 60-inch Hale telescope in 1908 and the 100-inch Hooker telescope in 1917, both at Mount Wilson Observatory, were built at the turn of the twentieth century.

These and other large telescopes had to include arrangements for replacing large mirrors with re-silvered ones every few months. For example, John Strong created thermal vacuum evaporation to coat a mirror with a significantly longer-lasting aluminum coating.

The development of technologies other than glass stiffness to retain the right shape of the mirror had to wait for the appearance of significantly larger telescopes.

One of the most well-known modern telescopes is the Hubble Space Telescope. Hubble measures 13.2 meters in length and 4.2 meters in diameter. It was first launched in 1990 and has since completed over 1.3 million observations. Its battery capacity is comparable to the combined capacity of 22 vehicle batteries.

The James Webb Space Telescope is another example of modern science, and a telescope launched the previous year. 

The Webb’s primary is to detect infrared rays. Its mirror consists of various foldable segments which form a single mirror, and it can adapt pretty easily as well. The telescope is shielded from the sun by a five-layer barrier, each tennis court size.

Who Invented the Hubble Telescope?

Who Invented the Hubble Telescope?
Who Invented the Hubble Telescope?

Although it may seem by the telescope’s name that Edwin Hubble contributed to it, it was only named after him by NASA. Around thirty years ago, NASA launched the massive Hubble space telescope, which has enabled astronomers to make several discoveries and is still in orbit today.

Lockheed Martin manufactured the sophisticated spacecraft in Sunnyvale, California factory. The Hubble project’s scope and breadth necessitated the use of numerous NASA space facilities. They tasked Perkin Elmer with building Hubble’s mirror, whereas Martin assembled the spacecraft and integrated the telescope.

Despite early issues with the mirror, the replacement was launched by NASA a few years later, and the telescope eventually became operational.

Since 1990, Lockheed Martin has continued to maintain the Hubble Space Telescope. Employees of the company assist NASA with day-to-day activities. Lockheed Martin also trained NASA astronauts who maintained Hubble five times, replacing and repairing crucial components in space.

Who Invented the Refracting Telescope?

Who Invented the Refracting Telescope?
Who Invented the Refracting Telescope?

In his Catoptrics, Kepler first explained the practical benefits of a telescope made up of two convex lenses. Jesuit Christoph was the first person to build a telescope of this type.

William Gascoigne was the first to use a key feature of Kepler’s proposed telescope design: the ability to position a small material item at the common focal plane.

This led to his micrometer innovation and telescopic sights in precise astronomical instruments. Kepler’s telescope did become widely used from the mid-1600s, owing to its greater field of vision than the Galilean telescope.

Near 1897, Yerkes Observatory Wisconsin opened the world’s largest refracting telescopes. However, larger mirrors soon rendered the 40-inch glass lens obsolete. In 1917, in Pasadena, California, Mount Wilson Observatory opened the Hooker 100-inch reflecting telescope.

It was there that scientist Edwin Hubble concluded that the Andromeda Nebula was, in fact, a galaxy far distant from the Milky Way, as some astronomers had claimed.

With the advancement of the radio telescope and its technology, other scientists may be able to investigate light and other forms of EMRs in space. For example, Karl Jansky was the one who detected radio waves first from space in 1931.

He discovered a radio wave coming from the Milky Way’s core. Since then, radio telescopes have studied the form of galaxies and established the existence of microwave radiation, confirming a Big Bang Theory prediction.

The “Elizabethan Telescope” concept has evolved, with Colin Ronan noting in the 1990s that Leonard Digges built these reflecting telescope/refracting telescopes between 1540 and 1559.

This inverse reflecting telescope has been cumbersome because it requires extremely big mirrors and lenses. However, the observer had to stand back to have an upside-down image. Bourne remarked that it had a very narrow field of view, making it unsuitable for military use.

Who Invented the Telescope During the Renaissance?

Based on his meticulously drawn sketches, Galileo’s Moon engravings gave readers a completely new viewpoint on the Moon. Galileo soon realized that he kept seeing these shadows were crates or small mountains on the Moon. But, thanks to his Renaissance art experience and mastery of chiaroscuro, he could have that understanding. 

Simon Marius claimed that he, not Galileo, was the first to discover Jupiter’s satellites. People publicly chastised Marius for plagiarising during his lifetime. Galileo had already published his findings in 1610 and was a well-known and important figure in the Renaissance court.

Historians would return to analyze the evidence only in the nineteenth century. Marius had not plagiarised Galileo, as it turned out. His telescopic observations were different; he had mapped Jupiter’s moons’ orbits more precisely. 

Who Invented the First Infrared Telescope?

Numerous significant advancements gave birth to the Infrared telescopes, namely:

  • Discovery of IR radiation by Herschel in the 1800s;
  • Creation of bolometer by Pierpoint, which can detect the changes in IR spectrum, in the 1870s;
  • Use of led-sulfide detectors to detect IR radiation from space in the 1950s;
  • Photometers measured thousand of stars in the 1960s.

The atmosphere absorbs most IR radiation, specific wavelengths of infrared astronomy people can undertake on high mountains with minimal atmospheric water vapor absorption. However, because of the development, many telescopes at high altitudes have been able to observe at infrared wavelengths since adequate detectors were available.

Some telescopes, such as Mauna Kea’s 3.8-meter UKIRT and 3-meter IRTF, are the ones that detect infrared radiations. Scientists revolutionized Infrared astronomy when they launched the IRAS satellite in 1983.

These reflecting telescopes with a 60-centimeter mirror ran out of coolant after nine months of operation. It scanned the sky and discovered 245,000 infrared sources, more than 100 times the previous record.

Who Invented the Telescope During the Scientific Revolution?

The period of the scientific revolution started around the mid-1500s and ended around the 1700s. During this period, scientists invented Lippershey’s telescope, and after that, various individuals redefined it.

The telescope, one of the key devices of the revolution, quickly became the most important tool for astronomers. The astronomer could now see innumerable celestial and distant objects and stars that he had never seen before.

The universe had suddenly expanded beyond what the human eye could see. Astronomers continued to push back the bounds of the known cosmos as telescopes improved, peering further into the Milky Way’s surrounding sea of stars.

Who Invented the Catadioptric Telescope?

Catadioptric telescopes are a mixture of two components, refractor and reflector elements. In 1930, Bernhard Schmidt built the first catadioptric telescope, which had a mirror at the back and a glass corrector plate in front to account for spherical aberration.

People primarily utilized it for photography because the telescope lacked a secondary mirror or eyepieces. The Schmidt-Cassegrain design, designed in the 1960s and uses a secondary mirror to bounce light through a mirror hole to an eyepiece, is the most popular form of telescope today.

Who Invented the Chandra X-Ray Telescope?

It’s a NASA invention used to observe supernovas, black holes, and other distant celestial objects, which helps scientists study the planets and different starry objects.

It depicts a side of the universe that is not visible to the naked eye. The observatory, which has been in operation for more than a decade, has allowed scientists to see the universe in action. It has witnessed galaxies colliding, a black hole with cosmic cyclone winds, and a supernova altering shape after an explosion.

The telescope, which NASA proclaims as one of NASA’s Great telescopes alongside the Hubble Telescope, Spitzer Space Telescope, and Compton Gamma-Ray Observatory, is also considered a tool for public relations.

NASA routinely uses its photographs in press releases. The image of a cosmic hand-like nebula is one of Chandra’s most famous, albeit the actual explanation is entirely different.

Who Invented the Ultraviolet Telescope?

Scientists built Hopkins UV Telescope to do spectroscopic research in the far ultraviolet range of the electromagnetic spectrum. In 1990, as part of Shuttle mission STS-35, it was blasted into space and operated from the Space Shuttle, and in 1995, as part of Shuttle mission STS-67.

A team led by Arthur Davidsen from Johns Hopkins University planned and built HUT. A 90-centimeter main mirror focused UV light onto a spectrograph at the telescope’s prime focus. The spectroscopic range of this device was 82.5 to 185 nm, with a resolution of roughly 0.3 nm. It was 789 kilos in weight.

With this invention, people studied various celestial objects and distant stars, be it supernovas or a variety of stars, or remnants of the same or other planets. They utilized HUT to perform various observations of astronomical targets during the 1990 trip. Scientists made 385 observations of 265 objects during the 1995 mission.

Who Invented Submarine Telescope?

Sarah Mather was an American inventor best known for inventing the first submarine telescope in 1845, a precursor to the periscope.

Sarah Mather was issued a patent on April 16, 1845, for her first underwater telescope invention. The device included a tube made up of many screwed-together joints that you could extend to any length and a globe that acted as a telescope.

Along with the telescope’s tube, a light source at one end allowed the operator to do underwater studies with illumination.

Mather designed the equipment to inspect the sunken ships without removing them from the water. Scientists later used her idea in various fields, including finding underwater items, fishing, and examining and undertaking undersea activities.

Mather was issued another patent on July 5, 1864, for an “Improvement in submarine telescopes,” which increased the reflector and lamp’s effectiveness under high water pressure.

Final Words – Who Invented Telescope?

The telescope’s widespread use on land, at sea, and for the study of skies made it a widely identifiable device and an obvious target for mockery.

Many satirical artworks from the 18th and 19th centuries used the telescope to mock practitioners of science and military and political leaders and commentaries on society and its issues.

The telescope revolution has come a long way, from Lippershey’s model to the Newtonian telescope to the James Webb observatory.

We should feel lucky to witness that era when scientists introduced a new stage of telescopic observations. We send these models to study the life beyond us. Who would have thought that someday we would find other plants similar to our home and send satellites to study them? Having our own telescope is indeed a pleasure.

Written by:
Editor-in-Chief and lead author at WhyDo

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