Telescope Timeline – Timeline Help

A telescope is a device to view, discover and study objects that are far away. There are many very large telescopes in the world to study planets and our universe. And bigger ones are being built, at this very moment. I will take you back to the beginning of our era. To the first signs, inventions, and developments that later resulted in modern telescopes.
All glass inventions, refractor devices and of course the honorable inventors are in this Telescope Timeline.



 23 – 79

 800 – 33

 853 – 929


 973 – 1048






 1119 – 1125

 1230 – 1235

Seneca the Younger describes how a glass globe that is filled with water has a magnifying effect.

Caius Plinius Secundus aka Pliny the Elder also mentions the reflecting of the rays of the sun of a glass globe.

Arabic astronomers construct the Baghdad Observatory.

Arab astronomer Albatenius aka Muhammad ibn Jabir al-Harrani al-Battani refers to some kind of an observation tube for studyin the upper atmosphere.

Vikings on Gotland in Sweden use Visby lenses of rock crystal for magnifying.

Persian scientist Abu Rayhan al-Biruni describes an observation tube as an astronomical instrument.

Arab mathematician Ibn Sahl examines parabolic and ellipsoidal burning mirrors in On Burning Mirrors and Lenses.

Muslim scholar Al-Quhi builds an observatory in Baghdad.

The Mokattam Observatory is built in Egypt.

Arab scientist Ibn al-Haytham aka Alhacen or Alhazen writes about the effects of pinhole, the optics of concave lenses and refraction in his Book of Optics or Kitab al-Manazir.

The Hamedan Observatory is built in Persia.

The al-Bataihi Observatory is built in Cairo, Egypt.

Grosseteste’s Oxford pupil English bishop Robert Grosseteste writes his De Iride or Concerning the Rainbow, in which he describes the use of optics to size things that are at great distance.

Bibliography of Telescope Timeline 1

Bostock J, Riley H T (1855). Natural History. Pliny the Elder. London: Taylor Francis.
Ingalls, A G (1946). Amateur Telescope Making Advanced 2.
Frank, C (1958). Book of the Telescope.
Frank, C (1959). Book of Telescope 2nd Edition.
Frank, C (1962). Guide to Instruments for the Amateur Astronomer.
Thomas, J (1963). Captain’s telescope.
Howard, N (1969). Handbook for Telescope Making.
Warring, R and Hutchings, R (1973). Project Book.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *