Did you know that the first telescope was not invented by Galileo Galilei, though it is a wide-spread opinion? It was Hans Lippershey from Middelburg, ahead of him by only a year. Rather, Lippershei is considered the author of the telescope design. But he took advantage of it and patented the name "telescope" Galileo Galilei in 1609.
The first telescopes were made of eyeglass lenses and could not magnify more than 6x.
Modern telescopes monitor space bodies, allowing you to magnify an object, see its electromagnetic ultraviolet, X-ray, and gamma radiation, and observe the emitted radio waves.
The most expensive telescope is the Hubble space telescope, which cost NASA $ 2.1 billion but was built 7 years ahead of schedule.
The Hubble Telescope helped calculate the age of the universe, detect the presence of dark matter, and find new planets, stars, and galaxies.
There are three types of optical telescopes. Refractors focus the image with lenses, reflectors with mirrors. The most modern – catadioptric – are a combination of mirrored surfaces and lenses.
A radio telescope is a special type of telescope that does not build visual images but picks up radiation coming from space objects.
You cannot look at the Sun through an ordinary telescope. For this, there are special solar telescopes with a built-in solar filter. A common joke of astronomers: you can look at the sun twice through a telescope – with your left eye and your right eye.
Today, the largest ground-based telescope is located in Hawaii, at the top of the extinct volcano Mauna Kea 4.5 km high.
In 2024, in the Atacama Desert, on Mount Cerro Armazones, the construction of an observatory with a telescope equipped with a 40-meter mirror and a unique optical system will be completed. An observatory in Chile will surpass the size of a Hawaiian one, and even surpass the Hubble in image quality. The project is financed by the USA, Chile, Australia, Brazil, 14 European countries.
The Kepler Orbital Telescope is the only observatory dedicated to finding habitable planets. In two years of work, Kepler found 54 exoplanets that are similar to Earth in size, chemical composition, and even the presence of water.
The most important factor in determining the performance of a telescope is the aperture, which is the diameter of the telescope's lens or mirror. The aperture determines the brightness and clarity of the image in the telescope.