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How Do Telescopes Work?



How Do Telescopes Work?

A Short Reader

Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.93

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    focal, distinct, opening, funnel, focus, universe, pointed, magnify, medium, people, works, telescope, lines, separate, microscope, waves


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How Do Telescopes Work?
By Cindy Grigg
  

1     When people look at things that are far away, they use telescopes. Telescopes were first invented in the early 1600s. The first telescopes were long tubes with glass lenses inside.
 
2     Here's why telescopes make things look bigger. Light moves in straight lines. When it passes through a different medium - like when light passing through air moves through water or glass - it slows down or speeds up a little. The path of the light bends. Lenses are curved pieces of glass. Lenses can focus the light and make things look bigger (telescope) or smaller (microscope).
 
3     A telescope does three things. First, a telescope collects light. The more light it catches, the brighter the light is, and the better a person can see. It works sort of like a funnel. Light goes into the large opening and is funneled into a smaller opening. A telescope's size is measured by the size of its main light-collecting lens or mirror.

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