How did the telescope benefit society? Check out how this revolutionary invention helped us observe light, gravity, and other physical laws. Why not catch up on the various findings that have been made about the universe with the help of a telescope?
Learn all about how telescopes helped us discover earthly facts and unlock mysteries about the known universe.
The telescope was never a humble device. It helps us view what our limited human eyes can see. But as technology continues to advance, it has only gotten more and more sophisticated. We even use it for surveillance, tracking, and aiming – like with Konus scopes. The range of what we can observe has widened exponentially.
So how has this revolutionary invention shape the way we think and conduct studies? What have we discovered about the universe so far? What capabilities have been added to the astronomical telescope since Galileo used it to study the skies?
In this article, we’ll go over some amazing human feats and how the telescope was at the center of it all. To get the best home telescope of your own, check out a list that you can find here. Let’s begin!
The Hubble Space Telescope, which has been in orbit for over two decades, had two main goals when it was first launched. One, to figure out how expansive the universe is. Two, to estimate how old it is.
Scientists figured these out by measuring the brightness of Cepheid variable stars. These stars pulse in a determined cycle, which makes them excellent checkpoints for measuring long distances. Of course, the farther it is, the dimmer it appears to be.
The same principle applies to a digital telescope you can use at home. Some stars glow brighter and are easier to observe because they’re much closer to earth. The best example of this is the sun.
By knowing approximately how old the universe is, scientists were able to refine their models of the universe to make theories on how and when it was formed.
One of the age-old questions that almost everyone has pondered is: are we alone in the universe? With a sophisticated optical telescope that emits radio waves, scientists have come a bit closer to answering that question. Images taken in deep space have revealed thousands of other galaxies like our own.
The chances are very high that we are not the only life forms in the entire universe, given how vast it is. This was far from what humankind used to believe. People even used to think that the earth was flat and that you’d fall off it if you reach the end!
There are currently eight planets in our solar system, and we’ve been able to study them all through telescopes. We can take pictures of their terrain, study their atmosphere, track their seasons, and confirm whether they’re habitable. As you’ve probably already heard, we’ve got our eyes on Mars.
Expanding our knowledge about our celestial neighbors gives us a deeper understanding of how our own planet was formed and how its geological processes work. The connection might sound farfetched, but monitoring other planets’ atmospheres will help us predict the behavior of earth. To illustrate this fact, we’re able to study greenhouse effects on Mercury and Venus. It has practical applications too. For example, an earthquake prediction by way of a study made on Saturn’s rings could save millions of lives.
Black holes used to be a complete mystery. But with telescopes and satellites, scientists can study them by observing the elements in their vicinity. We can’t see black holes with the naked eye. It was only early this year when the Even Horizon Telescope captured man’s very first image of one in the middle of galaxy m87.
Black holes are still a mind-bender, but we understand its basic principles now. We know that it’s an area in space where gravity is so strong that even light can’t escape from it. The absence of light is what makes them invisible.
We can also predict that black holes were formed when the universe began. And no, if you’re worried, the earth can’t be sucked into a black hole. Even if the sun collapses, it’s not big enough to create a black hole.
Anyone who would love observing space can do it in their own backyard. There are plenty of telescopes currently on the market that have a more than decent range. If you’re wondering about brands, you can’t go wrong with OPT telescopes.
If you want to be nerdy about it, you can even build your own with Meade telescope parts. You can see as far as Uranus with a good home setup. Not to mention tons of nebulae and galaxies that appear as faint fluffs.
Share your findings with your own telescope below. We’d love to know about them. In the meantime, check out this online telescope and start musing about the wonders of the universe.