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The History of Galileo Galilei’s Telescope

How Did Galileo’s Telescope Impact History?

Galileo Galilei was the first to point a telescope skyward, changing the course of telescope history. After news of Hans Lippershey’s telescope spread, Galileo quickly created his own with stronger magnification. This allowed him to be the first man to peer into the cosmos, essentially founding modern astronomy. 

When Did Galileo Invent his Telescope?

The Galilean telescope was invented by Galileo Galilei in August of 1609, following Hans Lippershey’s design. In May of 1609, news of a device able to magnify objects by three times reached Italy, where Galileo quickly began designing his own telescope. Throughout the following years, he designed numerous telescopes, increasing the magnification from 3x to 30x.

When Did Galileo Publish his Telescope’s Discoveries?

In March of 1610, Galileo published the findings from his initial design. These discoveries began on the 7th of January and included observations of stars, the moon, Jupiter, and the sun. In August of 1610, Galileo presented an instrument capable of 8x magnification to the Venetian Senate. This earned him a lifetime tenure at the University of Padua as well as an increased salary. Just two months later, Galileo designed a telescope capable of magnifying an object by twenty times.

What Did Galileo’s Telescope Discover?

Galileo made numerous discoveries, including craters and mountains on the moon, the satellites of Jupiter, and stars in the Milky Way. He was also the first to view the sun through a telescope, which likely contributed to his blindness in later life.

How Did Galileo Design His Telescope?

Galileo’s telescope design was extremely simple, consisting of just wood, paper, copper and glass. The long tube held a plano-concave eyepiece and a bi-convex objective lens. 

What Were the Dimensions of Galileo’s Telescope?

The bi-convex objective lens of Galileo’s original telescope was 51mm in diameter and 2.5mm thick, with 1330mm focal length. It also included a plano-concave eyepiece lens, 26mm in diameter, 3mm thick, with -94mm focal length. 

Where is Galileo’s Telescope Today?

Over 400 years later, Galileo’s original telescope is still intact, and can be found at the Istituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza in Italy. 

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