Thursday, 24 August 2017

Thrice as Nice

On my southern horizon there is currently a large crane being used on a  new building development. Using Google maps I was able to confirm the distance as being 4.5 miles from my home. I thought this would be a good target to test my prototype Tudor telescope. I ended up supporting the telescope over my right shoulder whilst I faced the other direction looking into the mirror as Bourne described. Although my first attempt was not very clear it demonstrated that the telescope had a magnification of about 3X. The left hand photo was taken through the telescope tube with the lens and mirror removed with my camera on the same settings that I used to photograph the image in the concave mirror in the right hand photo. The right hand side photograph was taken through the telescope and shows a two fields, hedges, trees and a crane. Unfortunately there is a blurred annulus from the glue that I used to hold the lens in place which has reduced the working diameter of the lens.

For centuries astronomers had to rely purely on their eyesight to observe the night sky. The 3X magnification of the Digges-Bourne telescope would have opened up new possibilites to Tudor astronomers. Did any Tudor astronomers ever use an optical device of this nature to observe the night sky? There is tangible evidence that they did. However, the next task is to improve the performance of my telescope to acheive better clearer images.

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