Galileo Galilei was an Italian physicist, mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher who played a major role in the Scientific Revolution.
His achievements include improvements to the telescope which provided him with a powerful new tool for observing the heavens. With the telescope's help, Galileo discovered mountains and valleys on the moon, the moons of Jupiter, sun spots and many stars which had not previously been seen. These findings made Galileo the most famous scientist in Italy.
Galileo has been called the "father of modern observational astronomy", the "father of modern physics", the "father of science", and "the Father of Modern Science".
Birth and Death
Galileo Galilei was born on the 15/2/1564 and died at the age of 77 years old on 8/1/1642.
He was born in Pisa, Italy and died in Arcetri, Italy.
Galilei had six siblings their names where Diso, Giovina, Lakel, Lorenzo, Lylia, Maria, Marsen.
Galileo Galilei built his first telescope in 1609 with about 3x magnification. He later made improved versions with up to about 30x magnification. With a Galilean telescope, the user could see magnified, upright images on the earth. They could also use it to observe the sky.
On 25 August 1609, he demonstrated one of his early telescopes, which he then sold to merchants who found them useful both at sea and as items of trade.
He published his initial telescopic astronomical observations in March 1610.
This technology lead to further discoveries in our solar system.
Earth revolves around the Sun
Galileo is best known for gathering evidence that supported the Copernican theory that the Earth revolved around the Sun. At the time, Galileo's discoveries were controversial because they challenged the Catholic Church's beliefs and resulted in him being put on trial and imprisoned.
Jupiter Moons Discovery
On 7 January 1610, Galileo observed with his telescope three fixed stars, all close to Jupiter. When he observed them on other nights the positions of these "stars" were changing. Within a few days, he determined that they were orbiting Jupiter.
He had discovered three of Jupiter's four largest moons. He discovered the fourth on 13 January 1610.
Galileo named the group of four the Medicean stars. Later astronomers, renamed them Galilean satellites in honour of Galileo. These satellites are now called Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto.
Saturn Rings Discovery
Galileo observed the planet Saturn, and at first mixed up its rings for planets, thinking it was a three-bodied system. When he observed the planet later, Saturn's rings were directly oriented at Earth, causing him to think that two of the bodies had disappeared. The rings reappeared when he observed the planet in 1616, further confusing him.
Significance of Galileo's Discoveries
Galileo's discoveries helped other scientist like him figure out about the solar system. His discoveries changed the way people at that time thought about the earth and the solar system.
Galileo wrote about most of his discoveries and published them in books. These books are used by teachers helping their students learn about the solar system.