About 400 years ago, stories from the Netherlands emerged describing the invention of a device that has twin objectives now commonly known as the telescope. However, the telescope began as a low-power telescope before rapidly evolving into a high-precision optical magnification instrument capable of displaying even the moons on the planet Jupiter. The telescope is one of the most important inventions made by man. Imagine what the world would be like if the telescope were not invented because most of what humanity knows about the universe has been seen through the lens of a telescope.
Who invented the telescope?
The telescope was not an idea that had just come out of the blues because the voices of both reflective and refractive optical devices that could see objects far away were already in circulation for hundreds of years. However, the voices of such devices were mostly in questionable magical contexts. The invention of the telescope is attributed to Hans Lippershey, who was the first to patent a telescope. Lippershey was a German-Dutch eyewear manufacturer born in 1570 in Wesel, Germany. Lippershey made the first known telescope appeared on 1608 after attempting to obtain a patent for a device with three times the magnification. The Lippershey telescope was equipped with a concave eyepiece aligned with a convex objective lens.
Was the Telescope invented by Galileo Galilei or Hans Lippershey?
There are many theories about how Hans Lippershey had the idea of designing his invention. Since Lippershey lived in the same city as Zachariah Jensen, who was also a glasses manufacturer, other people claimed he could have stolen Jansen’s design. However, scholars argue that there was no concrete evidence that Lippershey stole Jansen’s design, therefore, he is credited with the invention of the telescope mainly because of the patent application. Other people claim that after observing two kids lifting two lenses in his shop, Lippershey discovered that a distant weathervane had appeared near the lenses, giving him the idea of his invention. A few weeks later another eyewear manufacturer known as Jacob Metius of Alkmaar, in the Netherlands,
Galileo’s contribution to the invention
The news of the “Dutch prospective glass” reached Galileo Galilei in June 1609, while he was in Venice. In a few days, Galileo had designed his telescope without even focusing it. After making improvements to his initial project, Galileo presented his device to the Venice Senate. Furthermore, it is believed that Galileo was the first human being to point a telescope at the sky, thus distinguishing craters and mountains on the moon and the Milky Way. Galileo also discovered that Jupiter had its moons and the sun has sunspots.
Further improvements on The Telescope
Nearly 60 years after Hans Lippershey invented the first documented telescope, Isaac Newton has further improved the design of the telescope by making some additions such as creating the first reflector usable on the device. Since its first invention, there have been many improvements to the telescope. These developments led to the creation of sophisticated instruments used today by astronomers. Arizona scientists have unveiled the most powerful telescope in the world in 2008, which was 400 years after Hans Lippershey’s first invention.