A telescope is a tool used by astronomers to look at objects far off in space. They let us see stars, planets and galaxies in great detail. Telescopes use curved, polished pieces of glass to collect light from objects in space. This glass can be a mirror or a lens. The light is brought to a focus point to make a clear image of the object. We call the science of moving light around using mirrors or lenses, optics. The bigger the mirror or lens, the more light the telescope can collect. The first person to record a design for a telescope was Hans Lippershey in 1608. Since then, telescopes have got bigger and better!

Ground Telescopes

Credit: ESO

Space Telescopes

Credit: NASA/JSC


Credit: Eric Marshall

The Liverpool Telescope

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