The renowned astronomer who spotted Saturn’s largest moon was probably short-sighted, as his telescopes show

A collection of lenses by Christiaan Huygens with the astronomer’s portrait in the background. (Photo credit: Rijksmuseum Boerhaave, Leiden)

The renowned Dutch astronomer Christian Huygens was probably short-sighted, a new study found in the telescopes he built more than 300 years ago. The results even suggest what glasses the astronomer could have worn, potentially making this the world’s first posthumous prescription for glasses.

Huygens (1629-1695) was a polymath who made important contributions to the fields of mathematics, physics, engineering and astronomy. He is best known for inventing the pendulum clock, claiming that light is made of waves, unraveling the mysteries of Saturn’s rings, and discovering Titan, Saturn’s largest moon. The European Space Agency Huygens probe (opens in new tab)that landed on Titan on January 14, 2005 was named in his honor.

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