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ESA Celebrates 400th Anniversary of Telescope

Photonics Spectra
Dec 2008
In Noordwijk, the Netherlands, a conference at the European Space Agency/European Space Research and Technology Centre titled “400 Years of Astronomical Telescopes – A Review of History, Science and Technology” celebrated the anniversary of the telescope patent. Filed in September 1608 by eyeglass maker Hans Lipperhey, the patent made the early technology available to the public, paving the way to the modern astronomical telescope. The program celebrated breakthroughs in the history of the telescope, including Galileo Galilei’s first astronomical observation.


GLOSSARY
astronomical telescope
An instrument used to observe celestial bodies. Larger astronomical telescopes use mirrors instead of refracting lenses.
telescope
An afocal optical device made up of lenses or mirrors, usually with a magnification greater than unity, that renders distant objects more distinct, by enlarging their images on the retina.
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