Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Feb. 15: Galileo Galilei, Italian astronomer


Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) Italian astronomer, physicist and engineer variously called the "father" of observational astronomy, modern physics, the scientific method, and modern science, who studied applied physics and used the telescope to observe the phases of Venus, the four largest satellites of Jupiter, Saturn's rings, and lunar craters, and sunspots. His observations were published in the marvelously-titled The Starry Messenger. His advocacy of the Copernican view that the earth revolves around the sun got him in hot water with the Roman Inquisition, which concluded that the theory contradicted Holy Scripture. Galileo defended his views in Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems (the Copernican and the traditional Ptolemaic, which said that everything circled the earth). He was tried by the Inquisition and forced to recant, and spent the rest of his life under house arrest.


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