Historical photographs

Fraunhofer telescope. From the Renaissance to today

Fraunhofer telescope. From the Renaissance to today

Joseph von Fraunhofer was born in Straubing, Bavaria, on March 6, 1787. He studied mathematics and became an expert in optics. He died as a result of Tuberculosis in Munich on June 7, 1826.

In 1823 he was a professor and physics conservator at the Munich Academy of Sciences. In 1812 - 1814 Fraunhofer gave himself completely to the design of achromatic lenses for telescopes, which required an exact determination of the refractive indexes of the optical glasses.

In 1814, when analyzing the solar spectrum following the indications of Wollaston, an Englishman who had discovered dark stripes on it, Fraunhofer accurately enumerated 754 of those lines, which since then are called Fraunhofer lines. He was also the first to measure the specific wavelength of each band using a rudimentary diffractometer that he built and which was the first of its kind.

He built the first diffraction grating with which he measured the different wavelengths of colors and dark lines of the solar spectrum. In 1817, he designed an achromatic objective that with very few changes subsists until today. In his honor, telescopes that use this type of lens are named after him.

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