"400 Years of the Astronomical Telescope" Poster
January 14, 2010
Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) of Japan holds a special week "Science and Technology Week" every year and distributes a "One Per Household" poster in museums all over Japan during that week. The year 2009 was the International Year of Astronomy (IYA), the 400th anniversary of Galileo's first observations with his telescope. This year also marked the 10th anniversary of the first light of the Subaru Telescope. The "400 Years of the Astronomical Telescope" poster was developed as the 5th "One Per Household" poster led by Kumiko S. Usuda, Subaru's outreach scientist. In the Science and Technology Week from April 13th to 19th, 2009, about 150,000 copies of the poster were distributed by MEXT. The English version was developed by the same authors as the original Japanese version and supported by Subaru Telescope. The poster can be downloaded from the Science and Technology Week home page.
The theme of this poster is "From Galileo to the Subaru Telescope, and Moving Toward the Future". It introduces the history of astronomical telescopes and their scientific discoveries. "The Universe, Yours to Discover", the slogan of IYA, is the message adopted by the authors to young people who are interested in becoming astronomers or engineers. The main part of the poster describes technical innovations of the telescope. Over the past 400 years, technology has enabled us to make larger and more versatile telescopes. The aperture of the Subaru Telescope is about 300 times larger than those of Galileo's telescopes. In the midst of the telescope's 400-year history, spectroscopy, a breakthrough technique, was established for analyzing light. In the last 100 years of the history of the telescope, observations in various electromagnetic waves have begun. The bottom right part of the poster lists unsolved mysteries, the answers for which astronomers are still searching.