Segments in this Video

Modern Space Science (01:59)


To find answers regarding the universe, massive telescopes are being constructed across the planet; astronomers combine Hubble images with those of other sources to form a better picture of origin and size.

Ancient Megaliths (05:10)

Doctor Fabio Silva explains how ancient people studied stars. Utilizing a computer program, he reconstructs the sky at 4000 BCE, finding that Portugal structures allowed better viewing of specific bodies. Approximately 5,000 years ago, Egyptians discover crystals distort and control light.

Book of Optics (04:05)

During Baghdad's scientific renaissance, Ibn Al-Haytham devised an experiment to determine whether light entered our eyes from outside or was projected by them. His pinhole camera revealed an independent source, and that light traveled in straight lines.

Glass Manufacturing (04:38)

Thirteenth century Venetians discovered that Samphire allowed clear, pure glass manufacturing, and began mass production. A 1352 Basilica San Nicolo mural depicts monks wearing spectacles; invention of lenses is not credited.

Spyglass (03:06)

Hans Lippershy invented the telescope in 1608 after he observed eyeglass shop customers experimenting with convex and concave lenses. Government officials did not award him the patent for it, allowing for reproduction.

Astronomical Applications (06:42)

Galileo Galilei immediately improved upon Hans Lippershey's invention, increasing magnification powers by ten, and crafting the Presentation Telescope. He used it to observe the moon and discover many stars.

Data Collection and Storage (08:01)

Galileo and Isaac Newton expanded telescope limits, but images were drawn by observers. Louis Daguerre discovered mercury's role in developing photographs; Professor Binh Danh recreates his theory proving experiment. Camera integration resulted in modern astronomy.

Cosmic Heartbeats (05:06)

Lindsay Smith Zrull explains how the New York City real estate market funded important astronomy advances at Harvard Observatory. Henrietta Leavitt developed approaches to measuring a star's brightness and distance.

Hooker Reflector (07:10)

By the 1920s, astronomers observe the Andromeda Nebula; the 100 inch telescope was funded to end debates regarding composition. Edwin Hubble operated the machine.

Universe Expansion (06:04)

Hubble found more galaxies rapidly moving, revealing the universe dynamic and leading to the Big Bang theory. Telescopes were limited by the Earth's atmosphere until 1990, when NASA launched one into space; deep field images revealed billions of galaxies forming webs of matter.

Credits: The Telescope (00:29)

Credits: The Telescope

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Episode 1: The Telescope (Breakthrough: The Ideas that Changed the World)

Part of the Series : Breakthrough: The Ideas that Changed the World
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



Meet the brilliant minds throughout history, from Galileo to Edwin Hubble, responsible for creating the telescope. Today, their invention allows humanity to reach the furthest limits of seeing – 13 billion light-years out.

Length: 55 minutes

Item#: BVL188585

Copyright date: ©2019

Closed Captioned

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