How the Telescope Opened the Universe

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Telescopes were one of the most important inventions in the science of astronomy. They opened up the sky, allowing people to see things previously invisible. With telescopes, scientists could look beyond the visible sky and learn about what exists past the night sky. From the earliest telescopes of Galileo’s age to the incredible telescopes used today, they have allowed people to see just how large the universe is and what makes up that universe.

How the Telescope Opened the Universe

When Galileo created his telescope and aimed it towards Jupiter, not only did he have the first view of something beyond the Earth, but his discovery proved that there was more to the night sky than the small pricks of light from distant stars. Before Galileo, the Earth was thought to be the center of the universe, and the size of the universe was incomprehensible. Galileo’s discovery that moons orbited Jupiter meant that the geocentric view of space was not right. Everything did not orbit the Earth. This discovery paved the way for the Copernican Revolution. As telescopes became more advanced, scientists were able to learn even more about space and the bodies that inhabit it. More galaxies, planets, and other celestial formations were discovered. The composition and location of stars could be figured out. Unlocking the secrets of the universe also allowed scientists to learn more about the Earth.

Types of Telescopes

There are two main telescope types, refracting and reflecting. Refracting telescopes use lenses to magnify images whereas reflecting telescopes use mirrors. In refracting telescopes, two convex lenses work together to focus the image. Light enters the telescope and passes through the first lens, called the objective lens, and bends u...

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...hey give people the ability to look beyond the night sky and examine the history of the universe. They have allowed scientists to examine stars, galaxies, and even planets. From Galileo first discovering moons orbiting Jupiter to the Kepler telescope discovering hundreds of new planets, telescopes are taking the vast universe and allowing people to view further and further into the unknown.

Works Cited

Bell, T. E. (2008, Oct 9). Liquid mirror telescopes on the moon. (T. Phillips, Editor) Retrieved from NASA science: http://science1.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2008/09oct_liquidmirror/

Bennett, J., Donahue, M., Schneider, N., & Voit, M. (2012). The essential cosmic perspective (6th ed.). Boston, MA: Addison-Wesley.

How telescopes work. (n.d.). Retrieved from Las cumbres observatory global telescope network: http://lcogt.net/book/export/html/574

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