Did you know that telescopes help astronomers first realize that the Earth is not the center of the universe? Telescopes are devices with which we can look at distant objects in the universe. These devices can be simple or very close to being complex, depending on the type of telescope. Telescopes consist of lenses to magnify objects. Telescopes began as simple devices to entertain kings and roamers. But today, they have become more powerful research tools. There are many facts about telescopes that you might want to know. It includes the fact that they can help us study the stars, planets and many more. Moreover, telescopes are also beneficial for studying biology, geography and even trade.
Telescopes come in a wide range of sizes and types. From tiny handheld devices to large observatory telescopes with diameters that are larger than the length of a school bus. If you are curious about the science behind it or just want to know interesting facts about telescopes, stay tune. This article will give you the answers. So, let’s begin!
Table of Contents
- 1. The First Telescope Was Made More Than 400 Years Ago
- 2. Advance Telescope Can See Up To Billions Light Years
- 3. More Than 90 Telescopes Placed in Space
- 4. Telescopes For Surveying And Military Tactics
- 5. Hubble Space Telescope Allows to View Space Without Light Background
- 6. The Biggest Telescope in the World
- 7. You Can Use A Telescope During the Day
- 8. Telescope Changed the View Of Universe
- 9. Visual Observation Requires No Electricity
- 10. Telescope Can Observe Sun in White Light
- 11. Telescope Gather More Lights Than Eyes
- 12. Naval Telescopes Help Sailors
- 13. Many Astronomical Observatories Usually Built on Mountain
- 14. Galileo, The First Person Pointed Telescope To Skyward
- 15. The Most Expensive Telescope
1. The First Telescope Was Made More Than 400 Years Ago
Let’s start with the first fact about telescopes. The understanding of Earth’s place in the universe has advanced significantly as a result of the advent of the telescope. The Netherlands is where the first telescope was discovered more than 400 years ago. It appears in a patent application for a device “for seeing things far away as though they were nearby” that Middelburg spectacle manufacturer Hans Lippershey submitted to the States General of the Netherlands on October 2, 1608.
Even though Lippershey didn’t get his patent, word of the creation quickly spread throughout Europe. These early refracting telescopes have a convex objective lens and a concave eyepiece as its design elements. The following year, Galileo enhanced this concept and used it in astronomy.
2. Advance Telescope Can See Up To Billions Light Years
The 200mm/8-inch telescope has a 2 billion light-year field of view. This telescope might enable you to observe a quasar. It is a supermassive black hole millions to billions of times the mass of the Sun that is extremely luminous, far away, and active. A quasar is one of the brightest objects in the cosmos. It shines brighter than the sum of all the stars in its home galaxy. Meanwhile, the first stars close to the Big Bang or objects 13 billion light-years away may be visible to the Hubble Space Telescope.
How far into the cosmos a telescope can see depends on many different circumstances, from nearby stars to far-off galaxies. The ability of an optical telescope to gather light is its most crucial ability. This capability is solely dependent on the telescope’s aperture, or the diameter of the clear objective.
3. More Than 90 Telescopes Placed in Space
More than 90 space telescopes have been launched into orbit by NASA and the ESA since 1970. They launched two telescopes per year. According to the orbit area, certain telescopes have longer lifespans than others. In fact, 26 telescopes are still operational, while 61 are no longer active, according to the National Space Society. Many astronomers currently conduct their work away from the physical telescope. They use computers and the internet to operate the telescope.
In order to acquire a clearer view of the planets, stars, and galaxies for research, they launch telescopes into space in order to avoid the Earth’s atmosphere. Placing a telescope in space improves studies and research. If you wonder why, it’s because the atmosphere acts as a shield, allowing some light to pass while blocking others.
4. Telescopes For Surveying And Military Tactics
Humans use early telescopes for Earth-based research, including surveying and military strategy. Thanks to technological advancements, researchers have developed radio telescopes for military equipment. The most advanced space surveillance telescope ever created was launched in 2016. It has the objective to start following tens of thousands of space objects that are no bigger than a softball. It’s great for science and space monitoring, and it gives the country and the world a new military capacity.
On October 18, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency delivered the telescope to the Air Force at the Space Surveillance Telescope location. On the northern end of the 3,200 square mile White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, it is perched atop North Oscura Peak.
5. Hubble Space Telescope Allows to View Space Without Light Background
The Hubble Space Telescope is one of the most well-known telescopes in existence today. The Space Shuttle orbited this telescope around the planet in 1990. The Hubble can observe space without any supplemental light because it’s far from Earth, which means the atmosphere, too. This has made it possible for it to capture some incredible images of distant stars and galaxies.
In addition to being a potent telescope, Hubble also has cameras that enable researchers on Earth to view objects billions of light-years away. The scientists in Greenbelt, Maryland, using radio signals are currently managing it. In comparison to most other optical astronomical facilities, the Hubble telescope offers an exceptionally dark sky, spectral coverage from the near infrared to the far ultraviolet, unprecedented angular resolution over a large field, and highly stable images that enable precision photometry.
6. The Biggest Telescope in the World
The Roque de los Muchachos Observatory on the Canary Islands is home to the largest single-aperture optical telescope in the world, also referred to as GranTeCan. Its mirror has a diameter of 10.4 meters, and in 2016, the telescope obtained an image of the galaxy UGC0180, located 500 million light-years from Earth, 500 times farther into space than any other telescope has ever been able to.
Additional support equipment for the telescope includes CanariCam, a camera that can study mid-range infrared light emitted by stars and planets. The CanariCam is also uniquely capable of determining the direction of polarized light and using coronagraphy to block out intense stars and enhance the visibility of fainter planets.
7. You Can Use A Telescope During the Day
In case the Sun has only just risen, you don’t need to stop stargazing. In fact, strange astronomical riddles are not just visible at night. You can miss out on some spectacular vistas if you think you can only observe the sky at night. The daytime offers exciting sights for astronomers to view through their telescopes.
If you don’t like to stay up late, you can also see stars via a telescope during the day. You can see the brightest stars when the sun is out, using the same techniques as for watching the planets. Knowing just where to point the telescope is the key to ensuring that the star’s brightness triumphs over the Sun’s. What a cool fact about telescopes, right?
8. Telescope Changed the View Of Universe
People’s eyes to the cosmos are open via telescopes. Early telescopes revealed that, contrary to popular belief, Earth is not the center of the universe. In addition, they displayed the moon’s highlands and craters. Later, telescopes also reveal the topography and climate of the planets in the solar system, too. Telescopes have also discovered brand-new planets and asteroids.
These tools assisted NASA in obtaining the first accurate measurement of the speed of light. Additionally, telescopes have aided NASA in its understanding of the sun’s and other stars’ light emissions, as well as gravity and other fundamental physical constants.
9. Visual Observation Requires No Electricity
Observations made visually don’t need electricity. However, due to the Earth’s rotation, unless the telescope is constantly adjusted, the object being studied will gradually fade from view. A telescope with an equatorial mount might have an electric clock drive that will carry out this adjustment automatically. However, to make it happen, you need to set the mount needs for your latitude and align it with North.
Since telescope drivers typically operate on direct current, you can either use batteries or an adaptor to plug into an electrical outlet. Many clock-driven telescopes are made to function on a 9-volt battery, which eliminates the need for extension cables and increases portability. Some telescopes have built-in computers that, with little assistance from you, can point the telescope at thousands of different intriguing things.
10. Telescope Can Observe Sun in White Light
Have you ever wished you could safely see the Sun’s changing features? By utilizing an appropriate front-mounted glass or solar film filter, any telescope may watch the Sun in white light. Never use an optical device to observe the Sun that has no suitable solar filter. The protection of your eyes should always come first, so make sure to purchase these from a specialized astronomy retailer rather than attempting to make your own filter.
In science, white light refers to the combination as “white” since the sun emits all the hues of the rainbow comparatively uniformly. That explains why, when the sunlight illuminates the natural world, we can distinguish so many various hues.
11. Telescope Gather More Lights Than Eyes
Before the invention of telescopes, astronomers observed the sky with naked eyes. Because they can capture much more light than the human eye, telescopes and their cameras are useful tools. The ability of telescopes to discriminate between two objects at a greater distance than the human eye makes them effective tools.
In fact, a MicroObservatory telescope can collect up to 500,000 times more light than the human eye can, according to a study from Harvard University. For instance, the Andromeda galaxy’s center, which is around 2 million light-years away, is hardly visible to the unaided eye. Up to a billion light-years away, the telescope can just barely make out a galaxy.
Sailors use long-focal-length naval telescopes to spot distant ships and landfalls. This achromatic handheld telescope has a function to conduct routine observations on a ship’s deck. It has a hinged eyepiece cover, an objective lens cap, and a single draw tube on a tapered mahogany barrel with brass fittings.
The majority of telescopes of the type from the eighteenth century had draw tubes made of wood or cardboard. Meanwhile, instruments from the nineteenth century are using metal draw tubes, wrapped in rope, wood, or canvas.
13. Many Astronomical Observatories Usually Built on Mountain
A location or structure that is used for observing occurrences in space is known as an astronomical observatory. You will find at least one telescope in an observatory, although some have more than twenty. An observatory on a peak will typically have pure air for the telescope to gaze through. Additionally, mountain tops at high altitudes are typically far from populated areas and other sources of light pollution that obstruct celestial observation.
In actuality, being higher up means there is less atmosphere, and particularly less water vapor, which has a tendency to bend light and distort images. Moreover, fresh air or turbulence-free air. A distorted view will also be a result of turbulent air.
14. Galileo, The First Person Pointed Telescope To Skyward
This next fact about telescopes is pretty interesting. Did you know that Galileo was the first to document telescope-aided sky observations in 1609, making use of this early model of the instrument? His initial astronomical finding was made shortly. He could see the moon’s mountains and craters, as well as the Milky Way, which is a ribbon of diffuse light that spans the sky. He also found four of Jupiter’s moons, sunspots, and Saturn’s rings.
Furthermore, Galileo focused his attention on Venus, which, except the Sun and Moon, is the brightest heavenly body in the sky. Back then, Galileo finds that Venus circled the Sun, not the Earth, as was widely believed at the time, thanks to his studies of the planet’s phases.
15. The Most Expensive Telescope
We have come to the last fact about telescopes. The James Webb Space Telescope is the most costly single spacecraft. The design and construction costs about $9.5 billion between 2003 and 2021. The multi-layer fabric sunshield for the telescope is the most crucial and technically difficult component of all of these. A lightweight kapton sheet measuring 21.19 meters long and 14.16 meters broad was stretched out and tensioned when the spaceship departed Earth.
An additional $861 million had been set aside to support the JWST’s first five years of operation during launching on December 25, 2021. Moreover, scientists use a 6.5 meters diameter telescope with a size of tennis court and 18 mirrors to collect light and safeguard its instruments. A number of design features used in the James Webb Space Telescope’s innovative construction have never previously been used on a spacecraft.