Category Archives : Telescopes

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Popular astronomy now online

Have you ever wondered how 18th and 19th century scientists explained the universe? The NMM has recently published on Collections Online a new section called Popular Astronomy, which reveals through our collections how genteel ladies, gentlemen and even the general public were learning about the heavens. It was hoped that…

Telescope stories: caught on film

As a great film fan, I’ve had enormous fun over the past couple of years trying to spot telescopes in the movies, and have been able to call it research for the book the Museum recently published on the history of the telescope. Pair of stills from ‘As Seen through…

Telescope stories: the height of fashion

Looking at the collection of telescopes in the Royal Observatory, it’s notable just how many hand-held instruments we have. This is mainly because although we usually think of the telescope as an instrument for astronomy, most of those ever made were for far much more earthly purposes. And to their…

Hot off the press – The Telescope: A Short History

Today, I’m pleased to say, sees the publication of a new book I’ve written on the history of the telescope. The book has been brought out in celebration of the International Year of Astronomy 2009 and to mark the 400th anniversary of the invention (or at least the announcement) of…

Happy birthday to the telescope

This month is the telescope’s 400th birthday. Well, sort of. We know that in September 1608 an optician called Hans Lipperhey announced that he had invented a new device and asked for a patent from the Dutch States-General. Before then it all gets a bit murkier. It’s more than likely…