ASTRONOMY

The scientific study of the stars and other objects in space is called astronomy. Astronomers observe the Universe using telescopes, which focus light from distant objects and make them clearer. Different types of telescope also reveal rays of light that are invisible to the human eye. On the ground, radio telescopes capture radio waves. Telescopes in space study rays that cannot pass through Earth’s atmosphere.

GIANT TELESCOPES

The Hale Telescope at Palomar Observatory in California, USA, was completed in 1948, and was the first giant telescope. It has a light-gathering mirror 508 cm (200 in) across. There are two types of telescope that study light. Reflecting telescopes capture light with a mirror, and refracting telescopes use a lens. All modern professional telescopes are reflectors.

BIOGRAPHY: GALILEO Italian, 1564-1642

Galileo was a physicist, mathematician, and an astronomer. In 1609 he built a telescope and became the first person to use one to look at the heavens. He saw mountains on the Moon, spots on the Sun, observed the phases of Venus, and discovered Jupiter’s four large moons. In later life, his support for the view of Copernicus that Earth and the planets circle round the Sun brought him into conflict with the Church.

Copyright © 2007 Dorling Kindersley

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

highlights

12 Pumpkin Activities and Crafts for Kids
Pumpkins and gourds are perfect for fall fun and games with the kids. Find the best pumpkin activities, crafts, printables, and recipes to enjoy with your children this Halloween season.

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

15 Best Slow Cooker Meals
Too busy to cook? Try one of these deliciously easy slow cooker meals and have dinner waiting when you get home!

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!