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How does a telescope work?

The telescope is an invention that has revolutionized astronomical knowledge throughout history. It uses the properties of lenses and mirrors that are responsible for managing the light emitted by the objects in such a way that the image can be enlarged and captured by the human eye.

What is a telescope for?

This instrument helps to observe in greater detail objects that are far away. Capturing the luminous radiations, the telescope brings the image of a distant object closer.

It is mainly used in astronomy to capture images of stellar objects.

Who invented the telescope?

Many people think, Galileo Galilei was the one who invented the telescope, however it can be described as who perfected and presented to the world this wonderful invention.

The original design that gave inspiration to the current telescope can be attributed to three men: Hans Lippershey, Jacob Metius and Sacharias Jansen. They were Dutch people who, at the beginning of the 17th century, began to develop a device that allowed them to see an object up close even if it was far away.

Although Lippershey was the one who perfected the invention, it is the design of Sacharias Jansen that was possibly the first and that, technically, can be considered is the father of the telescope, but his ideas spread much later.

Galileo Galilei is considered the father of the telescope, since it was his creation that allowed him to visualize images of the moon, planets that were close to the Earth and sunspots.

Types of telescopes

Refracting: Is a centered optical system, which captures images of distant objects using a system of converging lenses in which light is refracted. The refraction of the light in the lens of the objective causes that the parallel rays, coming from a very distant object (in the infinity), converge on a point of the focal plane. This makes it possible to show larger and brighter distant objects.

Reflecting: is an optical telescope, designed by Isaac Newton, that uses mirrors instead of lenses to focus light and form images. Reflecting or Newtonian telescopes use two mirrors, one at the end of the tube (primary mirror), which reflects the light and sends it to the secondary mirror, which sends it to the eyepiece.

Catadioptric: It is basically a composite telescope that uses both lenses and mirrors.
Its advantage lies in its relative small size in relation to its focal length.