What is a Telescope ?

Man is always filled with curiosity, he always wanted to know and explore the things around him. Humans always found a way to satisfy their sprit of enquiry and when it comes to space, humans found the telescope to view things he could not see with the naked eye.

Telescope is an instrument that helps us to view and observe remote things through electromagnetic radiation.  The birth of lens was in the early thirteenth centaury where artisans were producing seeing glasses for the elderly who had long sightedness. As centuries went by the development of lenses grew and by the seventeenth centaury in Netherlands, the first practical telescope was invented

The telescope works based on the principle where it gathers radiation from objects that are far away and focus it, where the intensity of the radiation from the objects is increased and the object that are far away are magnified. After the practical telescope was invented, within a few decades the reflecting telescopes which uses mirrors was invented then the radio telescopes and the infrared telescopes were invented.


When we look at the sky in the night and see the beautiful constellations of stars and millions of other heavenly bodies, our hearts yearn to see them closer. Thus as technology was growing in such a fast scale humans started working on building magnificent telescope to view those heavenly bodies.

There are different types of telescopes like the x-ray telescopes which use shorter wavelengths than ultraviolet lights, the ultraviolet telescopes which uses a wavelength shorter than visible light, optical telescopes which uses visible light, infrared telescopes, Fresnel imager telescopes, submutimeter telescopes and x-ray optics.

Astronomers from decades to decades, all around the world have spend hours sitting with these telescopes observing the celestial objects, they have studied the birth and the death of the stars, the movement of planets around the sun , moons,  comets , galaxies etc. Some of the scientists who involved in inventing and developing the telescopes putting forth their ideas and publishing their findings are Nicholas Copernicus, Hans Lippershey, Simon Marius, Galileo Galilee, Giovanni Cassini and Isaac Newton.

There is something called aberrations which are the distortions in the images that we see through the telescope. The varying degree of light rays of different length causes such aberrations. These aberrations can be eliminated by using compound lenses which are made up of different types of glasses. In photography they use thin lenses called catadioptrics to avoid such aberrations.

All though with the extraordinary development of technology where we can see celestial objects which are very far from us and although hundreds of planets orbiting different stars have been discovered we are still not certain if any other planet can sustain life like our planet Earth. Scientists are developing new space telescope optics which is capable of finding planets which are similar to earth and takes a photograph of that planet.  The curiosity of humans can never be quenched; people will always invent better ways to explore things.