Fun facts about telescope

istockphoto 174899495 170667a
istockphoto 174899495 170667a

Why are telescopes sometimes called “time machines”?

You may have heard that telescopes are called “time machines” because through them we can look back in time and see what the Universe looked like billions of years ago. But this is only a partial truth.

 In actuality, a telescope’s primary function is to collect faint light from distant objects and instruments . It is a sort of “collecting time machine”. 

In other words, with the right equipment, an astronomer can use a telescope to study stars that are far beyond our solar system or galaxies that are trillions of miles away from Earth. 

Astronomers often refer to these as “radio telescopes” as they were traditionally designed with radio wavelengths in mind.

Today, astronomers have many telescopes to fulfill these functions. But the two most important ones are the Hubble Space Telescope and the James Webb Space Telescope. 

These are currently the largest optical telescopes in existence, although their longer wavelengths mean they are just as much time machines as they are telescopes.

Facts about telescope :

1. The telescope was a invention by Galileo in 1609 :

Galileo was one of the first to use a telescope for astronomical purposes.

2. The first telescopes were not very powerful :

When Galileo invented the telescope it only magnified objects by 10 times. Telescopes today can magnify up to 500 times. This is because telescopes have gotten smarter, not bigger!

3. The first astronomer that noticed something strange about the planet Saturn was Christian Huygens : 

He studied the planet with better telescopes than Galileo had ever made and discovered that Saturn had rings surrounding it! .

4. The first person to look for life on Mars was Percival Lowell :

Percival Lowell was an astronomer in the late 19th century. He believed that Mars had canals that were built by intelligent life forms. 

He devoted his whole life to studying them in detail, but in the end, his theory was proven wrong.

5. The first person to discover a planet around another star was Robert T. Aitken : 

He discovered the planet Neptune when observing the orbit of Uranus back in 1930s . Before this amazing discovery, no one knew there were planets out there beyond our solar system! .

6. The first person to discover the rings of Uranus was James R. Arnold : 

The rings of Uranus were discovered in 1977 by the Voyager 2 space probe .

 No one could see them until then because they were so faint, but now we know they are there, and the Hubble Space Telescope has taken beautiful images of them! .

7. The first black hole that was ever photographed was Cygnus X-1 :

This black hole is surrounded by a cloud of gas. This gas is heated to millions of degrees by the black hole, which leads to it emitting light! .

8. The oldest known star is HD 140283 :

This star is estimated to be 13.6 billion years old! It is so much older than our Sun! .

9. There are at least 200 billion galaxies in the observable Universe :

Each galaxy contains billions of stars, so if you multiply those numbers together, you get an enormous number of stars! . 

This means that there will be plenty to study for scientists in the future! Who knows what discoveries will be made? The Universe holds many mysteries that are waiting to be solved. .

10. There are at least 20 moons orbiting Saturn : 

Six of these moons orbit around rings that also orbit the planet ! .

11. The largest telescope in the world is the Gran Telescopio Canarias : 

It is 570 feet (174 meters) tall and weighs 1,100 tons, which makes it the largest optical telescope on Earth! .

12.The deepest image of the Universe was created by Hubble Space Telescope : 

This image shows almost 13 billion years of the past, but it’s just a tiny part of our Universe! .

13.The oldest light in our Universe came from gamma-ray bursts : 

Gamma-ray bursts are some of the most energetic events known to mankind . They can release more energy than our Sun will during its entire lifetime! .

14. The first person to see a black hole was Eddington :

This happened on June 30, 1919. It was the first time anyone had seen an object so large that it would appear to “eat” everything around it! .

15. Our solar system has another planet, Neptune : 

A small planet, called Pluto , is not enough for many scientists! .

16. The first star to be photographed was Antares : 

Stars are actually very hard to see because they are so far away. This is why light from them has to travel for millions of years before we can see it! . 

Now astronomers have new techniques that enable us to capture stars at their very beginnings!


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