Telescopes as children's learning tools

The space and the planets are a very attractive and interesting subject for children. When they know that there is more outside of the earth, they quickly want to see what it is. For this, there is a wonderful piece of equipment, the telescopes, ideal for being in space without leaving home.

These are long-range binoculars, capable of transporting the infant's vision to the moon, space or the planet closest to the earth. You can see constellations, meteor showers, shooting stars and more.

This experience is fundamental so that children can live it and have an impact on them, to the point of wanting to be astronomers or astronauts. But how do you know if they are really interested? In this article you will learn to detect those hidden passions of your children for stars and everything in space thanks to telescopes.

Who invented the telescope?

The telescope, at least historically, was invented in 1608 by Hans Lippershey and Galileo Galilei. However, some research carried out apparently dates back a few years, specifically in 1590 and the inventor of the telescope was Juan Roget.

Apparently, this invention caused many people to try to steal the idea. Unfortunately, Roget did not patent it and Lippershey beat him to it, but not only him, but also two other characters who had stolen the project.

One of the most popular names around telescopes, is Galileo Galilei. This character in the story received a message about a device that could reach space and see everything that existed there. This led him to – according to research – to develop this idea and build the first astronomical telescope in history, in 1609 when he made it public.

With it, many discoveries were made in space, most iconic being in January 1610 when the moons were seen orbiting Jupiter. Although at first nobody called them telescopes but "Spy lenses", their official name - as we know it today - was coined in April 1611 by the Greek Giovanni Demisiani.

With all this history it is not easy to know who invented the telescope, but it can give us an idea of ​​what has become of this revolutionary invention. In addition, it has allowed the derivation of different types of telescopes that have served to learn more about the world around planet earth.

How does a telescope work?

A telescope allows us to see objects at a very long distance. By itself, the human eye has a viewing range of up to a kilometer with optimal vision. The eagle, for example, can reach distances four or five times that of man.

Well, a telescope, in addition to approaching distances of millions of kilometers, shows us an enlarged perspective of what we see. It is usually used to visualize space, stars and everything that happens in the galaxy.

To better understand how a telescope works we must start from how the human eye works. Each has a pupil (similar to a lens) and a retina (light reflector). When focusing on an object in the distance, the eye is unable to perceive the light, making it difficult to see clearly what is there.

To do this, the pupil only allows you to see the smallest image of the object and projects it on the retina. In other words, if what we are trying to see is very far away, there will be less light to distinguish it. Now, if it is closer, there is more light to determine what it is.

What does a telescope do? What telescopes do is capture that light from the object and bring it closer to the human eye. In this way, we can clearly perceive what we are focusing on.Some models may vary the way they capture and transmit that light, but we will talk about them later

What are the characteristics of a telescope?

Telescopes are mainly characterized by their objective lens. This is calculated by its diameter, so it may have variations between professional models and a telescope for children.

When the diameter exceeds 200 millimeters, we can say that it is a high-range terrestrial telescope, ideal for viewing planets, the solar system, black holes or if there is life on other planets. However, there are other fundamental elements in the telescopes, and they are:

  • They have a focal length that allows the person to define the distance between the mirror and the main lens.
  • As we said, the diameter of the objective, mirror or main lens of the equipment.
  • The eyepiece is a small accessory that enlarges the size of objects seen at long distances.
  • With the Barlow lens, it is a focus that allows you to double, even triple, the value of the eyepiece to see with higher quality – for example – a exploration of Mars.
  • The filters, also small accessories, allow you to select the strong colors that may exist in the space, and transmit them to the human eye with greater lightness.
  • It has magnifications that allow you to multiply the actual size of the object to a more readable size.
  • It has a three-legged support to keep the telescope balanced, and one of the most commercial models is the Bresser telescope tripod.

Types of telescopes we can buy

Although there are actually many types of telescopes on the market, technically there are three models in particular. From these, most of the existing ones are derived with their own characteristics that their manufacturer places on them. Here's how telescopes are classified:

Refractor telescope

This type of telescope is called a refractor because of the way light rays are bent as they pass through the lens. its main advantage lies in the quality and contrast between the images.

In addition, its maintenance is light, and it is perfect for doing a exploration of the moon or counting how many satellites there are in space. Also, it has a solid structure so that the lens comes out of its base when it is moved from one place to another.

Reflector telescope

A reflector telescope is one that receives light from the secondary mirror in a tube located on one side of the equipment. Its main advantage is to minimize any chromatic problem, allowing objects located in the deep sky to be seen more clearly.

Catadioptric telescopes

Its level of maintenance is low and it is characterized by having a closed ocular tube which minimizes dirt. It works by means of the light that penetrates the tube and reaches the corrective lens. Upon reaching the bottom of the eyepiece, it reflects the object in the mirror and returns to the mouth of the tube. Make this light trip one more time until the object is reflected in the human eye.

Importance of buying a telescope for children

When it comes to buying a telescope for children, you should evaluate several aspects. One of them is age, so a telescope for a child of years is not the same as for a 12-year-old. But beyond this, you should know how important these teams are to them.

How it helps them improve their quality of life, thanks to the contributions left by this fabulous practice of looking at the stars and space.Here is a list of how this tool positively impacts them:

  • They can discover what is in space and see beyond what is in front of them
  • Discover this wonderful and interesting world such as space, the galaxy and direct contact with the
  • Astronomy is fascinating and as children get closer to it, they can discover not only planets or give them star names, but also develop a greater interest in the planet they live on .
  • It's a very sophisticated research tool that you can use to test theories, learn about all the types of stars that exist, or learn how stars form.

Telescopes can be a way to make children understand that we are not alone, and that this is our home and we must take care of it. Seeing the infinite universe and how difficult it is to go to mars you can understand that only the earth is our home.

How to choose a good telescope for children?

Giving a telescope to a child can be a difficult subject. However, it is not something impossible and with great options to help them grow in many areas. Given this, we have compiled a list of options to choose the right one for your children:

  • Depending on the age of your children, you can buy a toy or a professional one.
  • Make sure they are resistant and durable so that, in the event of an altercation, they are not damaged and you lose the investment.
  • It is essential that when using them you are, as a parent, present with them. Teach them from how to clean a telescope to how to focus a telescope.
  • Although it is possible to learn how to make a telescope this is an excellent option to determine if your child really wants one or not. If you're constantly playing with them, that's a great indication that you want one and it's the perfect time to buy one.
  • Knowing where you are going to place it can determine the size and model of the telescope.

Which have been the most famous telescopes in history?

History has shown us a series of telescopes that have marked history in our world. Teams that have discovered why the planets are round or how many planets are there in the milky way. That's why we wanted to bring some of the most famous telescopes in history:

Hubble Telescope

This is a space telescope that orbits the earth, and is named after its creator Edwin Hubble who managed to take it to space in 1990. It is used to capture images of space with a much higher level of precision , compared to a ground-based telescope.

It's still in orbit, and every time it's in space, astronauts check it and repair it if there's any damage. One of his greatest findings has been the farthest galaxy from Earth (about 13.7 billion light years). This appearance has made it possible to determine data such as the age of the cosmos, how the planets were formed, or the planets of the solar system.


This particular model is made up of a group of four telescopes. Each has a diameter of 8 mm and with the largest today. It is located in the Atacama desert, Chile developed by the European Southern Observatory.

Hale Telescope

It is a telescope whose lens diameter is 508 centimeters. It has been installed since 1948 at the Palomar observatory in the United States. Its name is due to the effort made by George Hale to achieve its construction.

His greatest contribution has been the possibility of being able to measure the spectrum and radial velocity of various galaxies.His contribution even generated that Milton Humason and Edwin Hubble could calculate the displacement laws between celestial bodies

Mount Wilson Telescope

This impressive telescope was founded in 1904 by astrophysicist George Ellery Hale. It measures 2.5 meters in diameter, used by Edwin Hubble to discover galaxies in space. It is located at the Mount Wilson Astronomical Observatory in the United States.

Soho Telescope

This telescope has the peculiarity of not being on the ground, but between our planet and the sun. It was launched into space in 1995 for the purpose of studying the sun. In May 1996 it began to operate, together with ESA and NASA.

Although it was launched for two years, it is still in operation today, as an important source of information about the Sun to know the changes it undergoes. To date, Soho has allowed the discovery of more than three thousand comets for studies.

The Great Canary Telescope

It is a telescope developed in Spain by the Instituto Astrofísico de Canarias. His first sighting was on July 14, 2007, but in 2009 he began to produce valuable information for the station. It is used to capture visible and infrared light that comes from space, thanks to an optical mirror 10.4 meters in diameter.


Telescopes are an interesting, entertaining and fun learning system for children. All its enigmatic history, what can be seen and achieved with them, is really fascinating. However, we must evaluate well if our children really want one, because it is not easy to give and buy one.

The best thing in these cases is to determine if your children really love astronomy and want a telescope at home. Talk to them, observe their behavior and their interest in space and stars.


Leave a comment

Please note that comments must be approved before being published.