Astronomy and Space

Observation and Measurement

Who invented the telescope?

Hans Lippershey (c. 1570–1619), a German-Dutch lens grinder and spectacle maker, is generally credited with inventing the telescope in 1608 because he was the first scientist to apply for a patent. Two other inventors, Zacharias Janssen and Jacob Metius, also developed telescopes. Modern historians consider Lippershey and Janssen as the two likely candidates for the title of inventor of the telescope, with Lippershey possessing the strongest claim. Lippershey used his telescope for observing grounded objects from a distance.

In 1609, Galileo also developed his own refractor telescope for astronomical studies. Although small by today’s standards, the telescope enabled Galileo to observe the Milky Way and to identify blemishes on the moon’s surface as craters.


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