Hans Lippershey announced his telescope on October 2, 1608. Quite a few sites around the web are celebrating that fact with fascinating histories, while other sites look to the future describing colossus telescopes to see first light in the next decade. Astronomy is truly going through a renaissance right now, and it’s a very exciting time to study it.
A cool virtual way to play with a telescope is to download the free World Wide Telescope from Microsoft. It allows you to learn the sky and see collections of astronomical photographs at the same time.
Finally, as a way to show your appreciation to astronomy and help bring back the sense of wonder of the night sky, take a look at the International Dark-Sky Association. One reason why you may never have wanted to use a telescope is because most people never see the stars anymore. Treat yourself someday. Take a vacation where you can find natural dark skies. Look up. You will be amazed.
- The Telescope: 400 Years and Counting – Wired Magazine article by Michio Kaku
- 400 Years of the Telescope – an upcoming documentary
- The International Year of Astronomy – a year long celebration to commemorate the invention of the telescope
JWH – 9-5-8