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A biography of galileo galilei a great astronomer and philosopher

NASA Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei provided a number of scientific insights that laid the foundation for future scientists. His investigation of the laws of motion and improvements on the telescope helped further the understanding of the world and universe around him.

Both led him to question the current belief of the time — that all things revolved around the Earth. But Galileo wasn't convinced. Experimenting with balls of different sizes and weights, he rolled them down ramps with various inclinations. His experiments revealed that all of the balls boasted the same acceleration independent of their mass.

He also demonstrated that objects thrown in the air travel along a parabola. At the same time, Galileo worked with pendulums. In his life, accurate timekeeping was virtually nonexistent. Galileo observed, however, that the steady motion of a pendulum could improve this.

Early life and career

In 1602, he determined that the time it takes a pendulum to swing back and forth does not depend on the arc of the swing. Near the end of his lifetime, Galileo designed the first pendulum clock. Galileo's telescope Galileo is often incorrectly credited with the creation of a telescope. Hans Lippershey applied for the first patent in 1608, but others may have beaten him to the actual invention.

Galileo Galilei Biography

Instead, he significantly improved upon them. In 1609, he first learned of the existence of the spyglass, which excited him. He began to experiment with telescope-makinggoing so far as to grind and polish his own lenses. His telescope allowed him to see with a magnification of eight or nine times.

In comparison, spyglasses of the day only provided a magnification of three. It wasn't long before Galileo turned his telescope to the heavens. He was the first to see craters on the moon, he discovered sunspots, and he tracked the phases of Venus. The rings of Saturn puzzled him, appearing as lobes and vanishing when they were edge-on — but he saw them, which was more than can be said of his contemporaries.

Galileo Galilei: Biography, Inventions & Other Facts

Of all of his telescope discoveries, he is perhaps most known for his discovery of the four most massive moons of Jupiter, now known as the Galilean moons: IoGanymedeEuropa and Callisto. When on January 8th, led by some fatality, I turned again to look at the same part of the heavens, I found a very different state of things, for there were three little stars all west of Jupiter, and nearer together than on the previous night.

These observations also established that there are not only three, but four, erratic sidereal bodies performing their revolutions around Jupiter. While observing Jupiter's moons in 1612 and 1613, he recorded a nearby star whose position is not found in any modern catalogues.

Galileo Galilei

Supported by the Catholic Church, teaching opposite of this system was declared heresy in 1615. Galileo, however, did not agree.

His research — including his observations of the phases of Venus and the fact that Jupiter boasted moons that didn't orbit Earth — supported the Copernican system, which correctly stated that the Earth and other planets circle the sun.

In 1616, he was summoned to Rome and warned not to teach or write about this controversial theory.

Galileo's telescope

But in 1632, believing that he could write on the subject if he treated it as a mathematical proposition, he published work on the Copernican system. He was found guilty of heresyand was placed under house arrest for the remaining nine years of his life. Galileo quotes "And yet it moves.