This page contains information regarding Star Trek: Discovery, and thus may contain spoilers.
A telescope was an optical device consisting of variable combinations of lenses and mirrors that focused light, allowing for viewing of distant objects. They were widely used in the fields of astronomy and surveying. Early Human configurations of the telescope were constructed by Galileo Galilei. Later, the Nicholas U. Mayall Telescope also featured in Human history.
In 2152, when Captain Jonathan Archer spent his shore leave on Risa, he had a date with Keyla Terrana on the balcony of his apartment. There he had a telescope and viewed through it until he finally directed Keyla to Earth's sun, which was about ninety light years away. (ENT: "Two Days and Two Nights")
Captain Philippa Georgiou of the USS Shenzhou kept a telescope, which had been in her family for centuries, in her ready room. In 2256, Commander Michael Burnham used it to obtain a closer view of a mysterious object that was obscured to sensors by a scattering field. (DIS: "The Vulcan Hello") After her death, Georgiou bequeathed the telescope to Burnham as part of her last will and testament. (DIS: "The Butcher's Knife Cares Not for the Lamb's Cry")
Rain Robinson once confessed to Tom Paris that the reason why she became an astronomer was because of her brother, who "had a telescope, a little refractor. You could barely see in the tree house next door actually, but it was enough to see the rings of Saturn." All she ever wanted since was to "reach up and touch them." (VOY: "Future's End, Part II")