Who Invented The Telescope?

Hans Lippershey made the first telescope in 1608. The same year Galileo started improving Lippershey’s telescope. Johannes Kepler changed the eyepiece for a telescope in 1611. Modern day telescopes are based on the Keplerian’s design. Newton made the next step with the invention of the reflector. John Dollond is the reason we have commercial telescopes nowadays.


Brief history of telescope inventions:

The first patent for a telescope was submitted in the Netherlands by the eyeglass maker Hans Lippershey in 1608. It consisted of a concave eyepiece and a convex objective lens. Lippershey claimed it could magnify up to three times. In 1608 Galileo started improving the new invention. His invention could magnify up to 20 times. Three years later Johannes Kepler suggested a composition of convex eyepiece and convex objective lens is going to improve the telescope. By 1655 powerful telescopes with compound eyepieces were built. Isaac Newton built the first reflector in 1668 and in 1672 Laurent Cassegrain included it in the telescope.

The first commercial telescope is dated back to 1758, built by John Dollond. He used the version of the telescope of Chester Hall from 1733. Until today the reflectors are being improved and larger mirrors are being used.

If you are interested to learn about the complete historical timeline, make sure to read the history of a telescope which covers all historical events that contributed to the invention of a telescope.

Important contributions to telescope invention:

  •     1608 – Hans Lippershey invented the telescope. Galileo Galilei improved it.
  •     1611 – Johannes Kepler improved the telescope’s magnification with changing the eyepiece. 
  •     1655 – Christiaan Huygens built a powerful Keplerian telescope with compound eyepieces.
  •     1672 – Laurent Cassegrain invented the so-called Cassegrain reflector.
  •     1673 – Johannes Hevelius made the largest telescope for its time – 45m focal length with lens with 20cm diameter.
  •     1721 – John Hadley produced larger paraboloidal mirrors. 
  •     1733 – John Dollond uses an achromatic lens to reduce the color displacement.
  •     1857 – The process of silvering glass mirrors by Léon Foucault.
  •     1932 – Aluminized coatings on reflector mirrors.
  •     1910 – Invention of the Rithey-Chretien variant of Cassegrain reflector, used up to this day.
  •     1930 – Bernhard Schmidt invented the Schmidt telescope, fixing the image aberrations.
  •     1965 – John Dobson invented the Dobsonian telescope.

Who invented the Newtonian telescope?

The Newtonian telescope can be traced back to 1668. It was built by Isaac Newton in England. It is a reflecting telescope, using a concave primary mirror and a flat secondary mirror. It is the earliest known functional telescope.

Who invented the Dobsonian telescope?

The Dobsonian telescope was invented in 1965 by John Dobson. It is a design of the Newtonian telescope. Mr. Dobson’s telescope was more accessible to amateur astronomers. It made it possible for faint objects such as star clusters or nebulae to be seen.

Who invented the modern telescope?

The modern telescopes are based on the Keplerian telescope. It was invented by Johannes Kepler in 1611. He improved Galileo’s design. It produces an inverted image, but it has higher magnifications than every other telescope. The modern day telescopes gather information from the electromagnetic spectrum, far beyond the range of the visible light.