Monday, January 8, 2007


400-Year-Old Telescopes Appear in the Strangest of Places

`Until recently, scholars thought only 8 or 10 of these important early telescopes _ made between 1608 and 1650 of tightly rolled paper and crudely ground lenses _ had survived to the present day.

Then two historians on a visit to a museum in Berlin last fall had an “aha!” moment. One of the oldest known surviving telescopes at the German museum gave them an idea of places to look for other, as yet undiscovered examples.

Their insight apparently was correct. According to Marvin Bolt of Chicago’s Adler Planetarium, he and his colleague found a previously unreported 1627 telescope in a Dresden museum storage room within 24 hours of their brainstorm. Less than a day later, they found a second, slightly earlier telescope that had lain unnoticed in the storage room of a museum in Kassel.’

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