Galileo Galilei

Physicist, Mathematician, Astronomer and Philosopher

Galileo Galilei Biography

''In questions of science the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single indidvidual''. To Galileo this thought meant everything.

Galileo Galilei was born on the 15 February 1564– 8 January 1642, he was an Italian Physicist, Mathematician, Astronomer and Philosopher who played a major role in the Scientific Revolution. Galileo has been called the "father of modern science". But back in his time he was called insane for questioning the theories of many great scientists of that day.

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Inventions and Discoveries

His contributions to observational astronomy include the telescopic confirmation of the phases of Venus, the discovery of the four largest satellites of Jupiter(named the Galilean moons in his honour), and the observation and analysis of sunspots. Galileo also worked in applied science and technology, inventing an improved military compass and other instruments.

Discovery of Jupiters 4 Largest Moons

Thursday, July 1st 1610 at 12am

Next to Galileo Galilei

Come watch Galileo discover Jupiters 4 largest moons

On 7 January 1610, Galileo observed with his telescope what he described at the time as three stars, totally invisible by their smallness", all close to Jupiter, and lying on a straight line through it. Observations on subsequent nights showed that the positions of these "stars" relative to Jupiter were changing in a way that would have been inexplicable if they had really been fixed stars. On 10 January, Galileo noted that one of them had disappeared, an observation which he attributed to its being hidden behind Jupiter. Within a few days, he concluded that they were orbiting Jupiter

Saturn and Neptune

Galileo observed the planet Saturn, and at first mistook 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.

Galileo also observed the planet Neptune in 1612. It appears in his notebooks as one of many unremarkable dim stars. He did not realise that it was a planet, but he did note its motion relative to the stars before losing track of it.

Did you know??????

Did you know?

  • Galileo became completely blind by the age of 74.

  • Galileo's telescopes had a magnification of only about 30x. He observed Neptune in 1612, but thought that it was a distant star. Galileo also observed Saturn's rings, but to him they appeared as two separate bodies attached to the planet.

  • Galileo attempted (unsuccessfully) to measure the speed of light by placing observers with lanterns about a mile apart.

  • Galileo is credited with making the first working thermometer, though it was not very accurate.

  • Galileo's father, Vincenzo Galilei, was a musician and music theorist. He helped to invent a new style of early Baroque music