1608 – telescope

Hans Lippershey, a Dutch lensmaker has been given primary credit for making the first recorded optical telescope in 1608, although there is evidence that other telescopes or “looking glasses” existed prior to his work.

PRECURSOR:
0085 – Ptolemy
0800 – astrolabe invented
0965 – Alhazen wrote “Book of Optics” and investigated using curved mirrors as lenses
1451 – first use of concave lenses to correct myopic vision by Nicholas of Cusa
1513 – Leonardo da Vinci drew a sketch of a concave mirror mounted inside a building with an open roof, used to observe the sky.
1546 – Brahe

CONCURRENT:
1564 – Galileo
1571 – Kepler
1610 – Galileo saw Saturn’s rings but thought they were moons

SUBSEQUENT:
1655 – Huygens discovered Titan, Saturn’s largest moon and hypothesised that Saturn was surrounded by a thin flat ring
1668 – Isaac Newton produced a new kind of telescope, using polished metal mirrors instead of glass lenses. These eventually became the standard for the best telescopes in astronomy.
1686 – Huygens advanced lens grinding techniques, built more powerful telescopes and di
1787 – 48 inch “Great Forty Foot” reflector built by Herschel at Slough, England
1845 – 72 inch Leviathan of Parsonstown (Rosse six foot) reflector at Birr Castle, Ireland
1857 – first use of silvered glass for mirrors in reflecting telescopes by Foucault
1917 – 100 inch Hooker reflector at Mount Wilson
1931 – first radio antenna used to identify an astronomical radio source
1948 – 200 inch Hale reflector at Palomar
1990 – the Hubble space telescope was launched
2008 – Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) with two 27 foot mirrors at Mt Graham
2009 – 410 inch Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC) reflector in Canary Islands
2009 – Kepler Space Telescope launched to search for planetary systems beyond the Solar System

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