Man has always looked to the skies for answers ... as if a celestial blueprint that tells the story of humanity's journey in time and space. Creation myths connect gods with the heavens, often the constellations, sometimes with a link to ancient aliens who came to Earth to seed humanity and will one day return. As the millennia progressed, so too did the use of telescopes to find answers to many of these age-old questions. That quest continues today with new and more advanced technologies as we venture into space.

A telescope is an instrument that aids in the observation of remote objects by collecting electromagnetic radiation (such as visible light). The first known practical telescopes were invented in the Netherlands at the beginning of the 17th century, using glass lenses. They found use in terrestrial applications and astronomy.

Within a few decades, the reflecting telescope was invented, which used mirrors. In the 20th century many new types of telescopes were invented, including radio telescopes in the 1930s and infrared telescopes in the 1960s. The word telescope now refers to a wide range of instruments detecting different regions of the electromagnetic spectrum, and in some cases other types of detectors.

The word "telescope" was coined in 1611 by the Greek mathematician Giovanni Demisiani for one of Galileo Galilei's instruments presented at a banquet at the Accademia dei Lincei. In the Starry Messenger Galileo had used the term "perspicillum".

History of Telescopes

The earliest recorded working telescopes were the refracting telescopes that appeared in the Netherlands in 1608. Their development is credited to three individuals: Hans Lippershey and Zacharias Janssen, who were spectacle makers in Middelburg, and Jacob Metius of Alkmaar. Galileo heard about the Dutch telescope in June 1609, built his own within a month, and greatly improved upon the design in the following year.

Galileo's telescope reaches 400th anniversary National Geographic - August 25, 2009

The idea that the objective, or light-gathering element, could be a mirror instead of a lens was being investigated soon after the invention of the refracting telescope. The potential advantages of using parabolic mirrors - reduction of spherical aberration and no chromatic aberration - led to many proposed designs and several attempts to build reflecting telescopes. In 1668, Isaac Newton built the first practical reflecting telescope, of a design which now bears his name, the Newtonian reflector.

The invention of the achromatic lens in 1733 partially corrected color aberrations present in the simple lens and enabled the construction of shorter, more functional refracting telescopes. Reflecting telescopes, though not limited by the color problems seen in refractors, were hampered by the use of fast tarnishing speculum metal mirrors employed during the 18th and early 19th century a problem alleviated by the introduction of silver coated glass mirrors in 1857, and aluminized mirrors in 1932. The maximum physical size limit for refracting telescopes is about 1 meter (40 inches), dictating that the vast majority of large optical researching telescopes built since the turn of the 20th century have been reflectors. The largest reflecting telescopes currently have objectives larger than 10 m (33 feet).

The 20th century also saw the development of telescopes that worked in a wide range of wavelengths from radio to gamma-rays. The first purpose built radio telescope went into operation in 1937. Since then, a tremendous variety of complex astronomical instruments have been developed. Read more ...

Telescopes in the News ...

China Begins Operating World's Largest Radio Telescope   Epoch Times - September 25, 2016

The world's largest radio telescope began searching for signals from stars and galaxies and, perhaps, extraterrestrial life Sunday in a project demonstrating China's rising ambitions in space and its pursuit of international scientific prestige. Beijing has poured billions into such ambitious scientific projects as well as its military-backed space program, which saw the launch of China's second space station earlier this month.

Breaking News: New Santilli Telescope Observes Otherwise Invisible Terrestrial Entities with Intelligent Movement   Ancient Origins - January 27, 2016

A new report published in the latest edition of the American Journal of Modern Physics has revealed a startling finding - a newly developed telescope with concave lenses has observed, for the first time, entities in our terrestrial environment that are invisible to our eyes and to conventional Galileo telescopes with convex lenses. Even more surprising is the fact that these entities have been observed to move intelligently in the night sky in a manner suggesting unauthorized surveillance of the area. In his paper, Apparent Detection via New Telescopes with Concave Lenses of Otherwise Invisible Terrestrial Entities (ITE) , Dr Santilli relates the moment his new telescope found a lot more than he anticipated.

April 24, 2015

The Hubble Telescope Turns 25

Hubble issues 25th birthday image   BBC - April 23, 2015

  Hubble Telescope Turns 25 Google Videos

Happy Birthday Hubble! It's Time to Party: Event Guide/a>   NBC - April 22, 2015

What it took to get the Hubble Space Telescope off the ground   PhysOrg - April 22, 2015

Hubble at 25: What's Next for the Space Telescope?   Discovery - April 20, 2015

Did you ever wonder if the Hubble Telescope captured the image of a UFO
or something else they're not disclosing?

The great spirals ... apparently lie outside our stellar system.

Edwin Hubble Quotes