Galileo used a refractor i.e. no mirror: but what was the aperture?

  • $\begingroup$ These sorts of questions are answered faster by typing something like "Galileo's telescope aperture" into Google's search box. See e.g. Museo Galileo:"The plano-convex objective, with the convex side facing outward, has a diameter of 37 mm, an aperture of 15 mm, a focal length of 980 mm, and a thickness at the center of 2.0 mm. The original eyepiece was lost and was replaced in the nineteenth century by a biconcave eyepiece with a diameter of 22 mm". They even have a picture. $\endgroup$
    – Conifold
    Aug 8, 2018 at 1:27

1 Answer 1


Galileo's most famous invention was the telescope.

Galileo made his first telescope in 1609, modeled after telescopes produced in other parts of Europe that could magnify objects three times and its aperture was 1.5 cm.

He made/assembled two telescopes later in 1612/1620 that could finally magnify objects twenty times.

With this telescope, he was able to look at the moon, discover the four satellites of Jupiter, observe a supernova, verify the phases of Venus, and discover sunspots. His discoveries proved the Copernican system which states that the earth and other planets revolve around the sun. Prior to the Copernican system, it was held that the universe was geocentric, meaning the sun revolved around the earth.

                             Aperture          Type       Inventor   (year)

Galileo's 1609 telescope [4] 1.5 cm .62″ Refractor Galileo Galilei Italy (1609)

Galileo's 1612 telescope [4] 2.6 cm 1″ Refractor Galileo Galilei Italy (1612)

Galileo's 1620 telescope [4] 3.8 cm 1.5″ Refractor Galileo Galilei Italy (1620)

see also ->https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_largest_optical_telescopes_historically



Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.