GLAM and Early Telescopes
This is a schematic of a Keplerian refracting telescope which uses two different sizes of planoconvex lenses. Credit: Szőcs Tamás.
Everyone knows the earliest record of working telescopes is from 1608 in the Netherlands. Right?
Did you know that Galileo always insisted that the ancients had telescopes?
Ever spend time looking at the paintings in an art gallery, reading books from a library, searching through archives, or wandering through a museum in awe of the past?
Take a look at the painting on the right.
It is of the god Kronos castrating his father Uranus, and it's from the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, Ceiling of the room of the Elements.
It was painted circa 1560 by artist Giorgio Vasari who died in 1574. Saturn (Kronos), center right, is about to castrate Uranus, lower center left. Behind them both are the remains of an armillary sphere for observing the heavens. Directly above Uranus' head and directly to the left of Saturn's head is part of the sphere that looks like, for want of a better term, a telescope, with the eye-piece at its right end.
What do you think it is?
At left for comparison is a schematic of an idealized refracting telescope.
Maybe Galileo was right.
The images are from an ongoing original research project at Wikiversity about early telescopes. And, you can help! Now, when you're GLAMing it up, you can keep a keen eye out for something special.
Visit the early telescope research project and add your find to the discussion page.
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