From Pupils to Space Telescopes: What Your Eyes Can Teach You About How Telescopes Work

Recorded On: 03/02/2023

In this 1-hour workshop for middle school teachers, we explore how your eyes form images, and how your pupil and iris are key to understanding how all optical tools work, even the largest space-based telescopes. 

While most people have a general idea of how their eyes work, they haven’t made the connection between them and other optical tools such as cameras, microscopes, or telescopes. All telescopes - whether they are large or small, ground-based or space-based, optical or radio - rely on lenses and mirrors to organize light and form images of distant objects. But it all starts with an aperture: the hole where light enters an optical system and is far more important than you expect. In this workshop, participants explore how making holes in a simple optical system reveals the basis for understanding how our eyes - and even the largest telescopes on Earth and in space - work.

Register to access the workshop recording.

Brian Kruse

Director, Teacher Learning Center and Formal Education Programs

Astronomical Society of the Pacific

Brian Kruse manages the ASP's Project ASTRO National Network and Bay Area Project ASTRO, programs which have partnered astronomers with classroom teachers. A veteran classroom teacher, Brian has taught middle school earth science and physical science, and high school physics, earth science, physical science, and integrated science. He has also served as a NASA Explorer Schools Coordinator, where he worked with teams of teachers to foster NASA-inspired whole-school impacts. When not working, Brian is frequently found hiking and birding with camera in hand.

Linda Shore


Astronomical Society of the Pacific

Linda is the CEO of the ASP and has served in that role since 2014. Prior to coming to the ASP, Linda was a Staff Scientist and Director of the Teacher Institute at the Exploratorium. During her 21-year tenure at the Exploratorium, she led the development and implementation of an internationally acclaimed science teacher professional development program, including the nation’s first beginning science teacher program and a teacher leadership program which is now in its 20th year. Linda has co-authored several science activity books for children and written numerous popular science articles. She has also conducted research on student astronomy learning, science teacher induction and retention, and gender equity in science.


Live Workshop Session
03/02/2023 at 4:00 PM (PST)  |  Recorded On: 03/02/2023  |  73 minutes  |   Closed captions available
03/02/2023 at 4:00 PM (PST)  |  Recorded On: 03/02/2023  |  73 minutes  |   Closed captions available This workshop took place on March 3, 2023. Click the button to the right to access the recording.