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Telescope Evolution

Telescope Evolution

Credit: NASA
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:James_Webb_Space_Telescope_2009_top.jpg
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

The James Webb Space Telescope, planned to launch in October 2018, is a long way from the tube with lenses that was the first telescope.

Why It Matters

Credit: Al Pavangkanan
Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/drtran/4411205217
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

Telescopes have made it possible for people to study stars and planets [Figure2]

  • A telescope lets you see things that are far away.
  • Galileo Galilee had a very primitive telescope; he could see about as well through his telescope as we can through a pair of binoculars.
  • Isaac Newton made a telescope with mirrors instead of lenses, as Galileo was planning to do before he was imprisoned.
  • The Hubble Space Telescope has shown us incredible features of our universe.

Show What You Know

With the link below, learn more about telescopes. Then answer the following questions.

  1. What is wrong with lenses in telescopes?
  2. Why did astronomers need to put telescopes into orbit so they could better see into space?
  3. Why did astronomers say they most wanted a telescope to see into the infrared? How will this be accomplished?
  4. What will we learn from the Webb telescope?

Image Attributions

  1. [1]^ Credit: NASA; Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:James_Webb_Space_Telescope_2009_top.jpg; License: CC BY-NC 3.0
  2. [2]^ Credit: Al Pavangkanan; Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/drtran/4411205217; License: CC BY-NC 3.0

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