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Niccolò Zucchi (December 6, 1586 - May 21, 1670) was an Italian Jesuit astronomer and physicist.

He invented the concave reflecting telescope, and on May 17, 1630 was the first person to discover two belts on the surface of Jupiter. Zucchius crater on the moon is named in his honor.

In 1616, he designed one of the earliest reflecting telescopes. A professor at the Collegio Romano, Zucchi developed an interest in astronomy from a meeting with Johannes Kepler.

With this telescope, Zucchi discovered the belts of the planet Jupiter (1630), and examined the spots on Mars (1640). In 1652, he demonstrated that phosphors generate rather than store light. His book Optica philosophia experimentalis et ratione a fundamentis constituta (1652–56) inspired James Gregory and Isaac Newton to build improved telescopes.


Astronomy Encyclopedia

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