1608: Hans Lippershey, Jacub Metius, and Sacharias Janssen, Dutch spectacle-makers, build independently simple telescopes based on the discovery that looking through two lenses hold up some distance apart brings objects closer (Galilean telescope concept).
1609: Galileo Galilei, Italian physicist, mathematician and astronomer, was the first to use the new invented device for astronomical observations: Galileo was the first to see the craters of the moon, sunspots, the four largest moons of Jupiter, the rings of Saturn and the phases of Venus.
1609: Thomas Harriot, English astronomer, becomes the first person to make a drawing of the Moon by using a telescope, a few months before Galileo..
1611: Prince Frederick Cesi, Italian telescope pioneer, or Giovanni Demisiani, Greek mathematician coin the term telescope at a banquet held in 1611 by Prince Federico Cesi himself to honor Galileo. The word telescope derives from the Greek tele = far and skopein = to look or see; teleskopos = far-seeing).
1611: Johannes Kepler, German astronomer, tries a concave eyepiece instead of a convex eyepiece allowing for a larger field of view and for the projection of astronomical images onto a screen.
1670: Johannus Hevelius, Polish astronomer, builds a 150 feet long refracting telescope which gave sharp images, but it was almost impossible to keep the two lenses aligned because the long tube could not be made rigid enough.
1704: Issac Newton, English physicist, mathematician and astronomer, invented the reflecting telescope by using mirrors in order to reflect light and form an image.
1740: James Short, British mathematician, optician and telescope maker, invented the first parabolic and elliptic mirror ideal for reflecting telescopes.
1789: William Herschel, German-British astronomer, discovered the planet Uranus using a simple telescope.
1825: J. P. Lemiere, French, invented the first binocular telescope.
1840: John William Draper, English-American physician, chemist and photographer produces the first photograph of the moon.
1845: Lord Rosse (William Parsons), British astronomer, built a huge reflecting telescope (Leviathan of Parsonstown) with which he discovered the first spiral nebulae.
1897: The largest reflecting telescope (40 inch) ever is built at Yerkes Observatory operated by the University of Chicago in Williams Bay, Wisconsin.
1924: The Hooker 100 inch telescope at Mount Wilson Observatory at Pasadena, California enabled Edwin Hubble to determine the distance to the Andromeda Nebula from Earth.
1948: The 200 inch Hale Telescope on Palomar Mountain enables important discoveries like galaxies and quasars.
1990: The Hubble Space Telescope was lifted into orbit by space shuttle discovery.
2005: The Large Binocular Telescope (BLT) is completed and will enabling ten time sharper images than the Hubble Space Telescope.
Telescopes for Kids
Telescope - Fact Monster
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A Brief History of the Hubble Space Telescope - NASA
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Telescopes Timeline — National Geographic Magazine
History of telescopes
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Build Your Own Dobsonian Telescope
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How to Build a Telescope?
Telescopes for Teachers
Telescopes From the Ground Up: Lesson Plan
Lesson: How Telescopes Work
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Lesson: Space Telescope Debate (6-8)
Hubble Space Telescope Lesson Booklet (3-5)
Telescope Buyers FAQ
Guide to Buying a Telescope
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Timeline of telescope technology - Wikipedia
Telescopes from the Ground Up Assessmen
Hubble Space Telescope Historical Timeline
Brief Timeline of Telescopes
HubbleSite - Education and Museums
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General Telescope Resources Galileo Galilei: The Invention of the Telescope and the Foundation of Modern Astronomy
The Telescope - The Galileo Project - Rice University
Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes Multiwavelength Milky Way: Telescopes - NASA
Hubble Space Telescope: Eye on the Universe
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