The word telescope is derived from the Greek words tele, "from afar," and skopos, "viewer." We have just the scientist to answer this question. Gord O. is an amateur astronomer and he was more than willing to answer this question.
telescope is an instrument used for viewing distant objects. It has a system of lenses or mirrors that shows a greatly enlarged image of an object. The most powerful telescopes are used by astronomers to study starts and galaxies millions and millions of kilometers away.
A Dutch optician named Hans Lippershey began building telescopes in 1608. In the following year the famous Italian scientist Galileo produced a much better design and in 1610 aimed it at the night sky. He observed the mountains and craters in the Moon and the phases (changing appearances) of Venus. He also discovered four moons circling around Jupiter.
For more information see "The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Inventions" volume 18, pages 1610-1611 in your school library
We also got some information from Pierre Kerr, firstname.lastname@example.org, about the Hubble Space telescope.
One of the big problems astronomers have using a telescope is our Earth's atmosphere. If it's cloudy, you can't see any stars. Even when the sky is apparently clear, it's possible for the air to move or waver. This will distort your view of the universe.
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