The Planet Quiz Show  

Answer:  Hans Lippershey (1570-1619), a Dutch optician invented the telescope in 1608.

For Teachers: Hans Lippershey, a maker of eyeglasses in Middelburg, Netherlands is generally credited with creating and publicizing designs for the first telescope in 1608. Although his patent for the telescope was never granted by the Dutch government, Lippershey was rewarded generously for his construction of several binocular telescopes. Credit goes to Lippershey because he actually had to have a working instrument to accompany the patent application. His invention was contested by Jacob Metius of Alkmaar, a city in the northern part of Holland in 1608, and several decades later by Sacharias Janssen, also a spectacle-maker in Middelburg. Telescopes became available for sale in 1608. It is probably a myth that Lippershey’s son or someone employed in his workshop actually made the discovery.

Most people believe that Galileo (1564-1642) was the inventor of the telescope. In reality, Galileo was the first person to point a telescope towards the heavens, thus changing forever the way that humans have investigated the universe. During his first telescopic observations made in 1609-10, Galileo discovered that Jupiter had four satellites, Saturn looked like three planets, Venus went through phases, the sun had spots and rotated, the moon was a rough and cratered place, and the glow of the Milky Way Galaxy was being created by innumerable unseen stars.

Picture of Capricornus
Hans Lippershey is credited with inventing the telescope, but Galileo Galilei was the first person to use a telescope to study the heavens.

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