Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A to Z Challenge - G for Galileo

Galileo Galilei 17th Century
Galileo Galilei was born on February 15th, 1564 and died on January 8th, 1642. He was an Italian physicist, mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher who played a major role in the Scientific Revolution. His achievements include improvements to the telescope and consequent astronomical observations and support for Copernicanism. 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.”

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 honor), and the observation and analysis of sunspots. Galileo also worked in applied science and technology, inventing an improved military compass and other instruments.

Galileo's championing of heliocentrism was controversial within his lifetime, when most subscribed to either geocentrism or the Tychonic system. He met with opposition from astronomers, who doubted heliocentrism due to the absence of an observed stellar parallax. The matter was investigated by the Roman Inquisition in 1615, and they concluded that it could only be supported as a possibility, not as an established fact. Galileo later defended his views in Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, which appeared to attack Pope Urban VIII and thus alienated him and the Jesuits, who had both supported Galileo up until this point. He was tried by the Inquisition, found “vehemently suspect of heresy,” forced to recant, and spent the rest of his life under house arrest. It was while Galileo was under house arrest that he wrote one of his finest works, Two New Sciences. Here he summarized the work he had done some forty years earlier, on the two sciences now called kinematics and strength of materials.

Aquarian people are mostly beyond their time, like Galileo proved as one. What made him prominent in history wasn’t his success in his career as a scientist (because in the end of his life, he was casted out by the society), but his amazing visionary personality. He proved, I guess, something much more important than planet’s spherical nature; he proved a notion held true by many, in fact, may be wrong: It doesn’t mean something is right just because it’s accepted by the majority, or by all other people; all the mankind may be wrong about something, while only one person is right!

source: www.wikipedia.org


  1. Lovely post

    do check out my letters at GAC a-z

  2. Lovely writing. He also invented the compass, the thermometer, and the telescope. His telescope allowed him to describe craters and mountains on the moon, the rings around Saturn, and sunspots. What a gala his eyes saw! In his trial by Inquisition in 1633, he was made to renounce the theory that the sun was the center of the universe. I think it is important to note that he knew when to stop fighting. He wrote his Dialogue during his house arrest. What a befitting scenario where bad turns into good, and the good guy wins.


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