Galileo Galilei was a Tuscan (Italian) astronomer, physicist, mathematician, inventor and philosopher. He was born in Pisa and was the eldest of six children. When Galileo was a young man, his father sent him to the University of Pisa so he could study medicine, but instead of studying medicine Galileo studied mathematics. Later in his life Galileo became professor and chair of mathematics at the university. Until about 1906 Galileo taught mathematics and had already made several discoveries in physics.
After a year Galileo published his first results, where he discovered the phases or the moon, Jupiter's four largest moons and some newly discovered stars. Galileo also discovered Venus's phases and sunspots, which confirmed that the sun rotates and that the planets orbit the sun instead of orbiting the Earth. Although Galileo discovered that the planets orbit the sun he thought they did it in a circular shape although they orbit the sun in an oval shape which was later shown by Johannes Kepler.
Timeline of Galileo's Discoveries
-1569- Galileo was born on the 15th of February in Pisa, Italy.
-1583- Galileo invented the pendulum.
-1589- Galileo dropped balls of different weights and sizes from the Leaning Tower of Pisa and proved that everything falls at the same speed.
-1593- Galileo invented the thermometer.
-1596- Galileo invented a gun sight to find the angle a gun needs to be set at to hit its target.
-1597- Improved his gun sight which was used for map-making and surveying. He also invented the theodolite.
-1609- Made his first telescope.
-1610- His book "The Starry Messenger" was published.
-1631- Another book was published "A Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems."
-1633- Was imprisoned for heresy.
-1642- Galileo died on the 8th of January at 77 years old in Arcetri, Italy.
Galileo in Prision
Did You Know ????
- Galileo actually became completely blind by the age of 74.
- In 1612 Galileo observed Neptune but thought that it was a distant star. He also observed Saturn's rings but they appeared to be two separate bodies attached to the one planet, that was according to Galileo.
- Galileo also attempted to measure then speed of light as he placed observers with lanterns about a mile apart but was unsuccessful.
- Galileo was the first person to make a working thermometer although it wasn't very accurate.
- Galileo's father, Vincenzo Galilei helped to invent a new style of music as he was a musician and music theorist