Who made the first telescope?

  • Thread starter wolram
  • Start date
  • #1
wolram
Gold Member
4,267
557

Main Question or Discussion Point

http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/0908/0908.2696v1.pdf

Abstract. Several early spyglasses are depicted in five paintings by Jan Brueghel the Elder
completed between 1608 and 1625, as he was court painter of Archduke Albert VII of
Habsburg. An optical tube that appears in the Extensive Landscape with View of the Castle
of Mariemont, dated 1608-1612, represents the first painting of a telescope whatsoever. We
collected some documents showing that Albert VII obtained spyglasses very early directly
from Lipperhey or Sacharias Janssen. Thus the painting likely reproduces one of the first
man-made telescopes ever. Two other instruments appear in two Allegories of Sight made
in the years 1617 and 1618. These are sophisticated instruments and the structure suggests
that they may be keplerian, but this is about two decades ahead this mounting was in use.

From Wiki.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telescope

The earliest evidence of working telescopes were the refracting telescopes that appeared in the Netherlands in 1608. Their development is credited to three individuals: Hans Lippershey and Zacharias Janssen, who were spectacle makers in Middelburg, and Jacob Metius of Alkmaar.[4] Galileo greatly improved upon these designs the following year.

The idea that a mirror could be used as an objective instead of a lens was being investigated soon after the invention of the refracting telescope.[5] The potential advantages of using parabolic mirrors, primarily reduction of spherical aberration with no chromatic aberration, led to many proposed designs and several attempts to build reflecting telescopes.[6] In 1668, Isaac Newton built the first practical reflecting telescope that bears his name, the Newtonian reflector.
 
Last edited:

Answers and Replies

  • #2
fuzzyfelt
Gold Member
751
4
A little unrelated, but possibly interesting is the Hockney-Falco thesis, with other considerations about optics historically.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hockney–Falco_thesis

More relatedly, John Dee and Thomas Digges referred to perspective glasses.

'In 1554 a group of Oxonians invited John Dee of St. John's College, Cambridge, to come and lecture in Oxford. He refused, but his pupil Thomas Digges of Queens' College, Cambridge, came instead. He was the first English author to describe the theodolite and he edited the works of his father, Leonard Digges (University College, Oxford), who was the first maker of efficient telescopes.'

http://www.maths.ox.ac.uk/about/history [Broken]
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #4
fuzzyfelt
Gold Member
751
4
Nice. I'd thought there was something more interesting than what I had posted, but couldn't think of it.
 
  • #5
mgb_phys
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
7,774
12
Yes I'd always learned is twas the Dutch around 1600 - but it's difficult to play around with lenses (like alhazen) and not discover the telescope!
 
Last edited:
  • #6
418
0
Wow! I love telescopes. Wolram thanks for starting this topic with some great information, and mjb.phd brovo for providing one of my all time favorite links. Fuzzyfelt, enjoyed reading what you provided.

I've been reviewing a great website this past week, thinking about buying an antique telescope. (Love to collect antiques.:smile:) Take a peak at a few of them and browse by scrolling down on the right of the website "The Developmental History of the Telescope" from the On-Line Museum and Encyclopedia of Vision Aids.
http://www.antiquespectacles.com/telescopes/telescopes.htm
 

Related Threads on Who made the first telescope?

  • Last Post
Replies
7
Views
5K
  • Last Post
Replies
1
Views
2K
Replies
17
Views
3K
  • Last Post
4
Replies
99
Views
13K
  • Last Post
Replies
9
Views
2K
Replies
23
Views
6K
  • Last Post
2
Replies
46
Views
11K
Replies
19
Views
4K
  • Last Post
Replies
21
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
10
Views
2K
Top