Galileo Galilei

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This is Galileo Galilei.
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The Starry Messenger.

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The Milky Way.

Galileo was born in Pisa, Duchy of Florence, Northwest Italy on February 15, 1564. He died January 8, 1642. His full name was Galileo di Vencenzo Bonaiuti de' Galilei. During his life he achieved great things. His fields were astronomy, physics and mathematics. He was the oldest of his six brothers and sisters. Sadly only four survived infancy. His father was Vincenzo Galilei (who was a musician) and his mother was Giulia Ammannati. When he was eight years old his family moved to Florence, Italy. But he didn't go to Florence instead he was left with Jacopo Borghini for two years. After those two years Galileo was educated in the Camaldolese Monastary at Vallombrosa. Then he enrolled in medical school at the University of Pisa, even though Galileo considered being a priest. He didn't complete this degree and studied mathematics. Then in 1589 in Pisa he became the chair of mathematics. He then began teaching mathematics in 1592 at the University of Padua. Then in 1610 Galileo wrote a book called The Starry Messenger in which he published his findings. This was made possible by using the printing press. In his book he made it clear that he supported the Copernican theory. The Catholic church was outraged because at that time they believed in Ptolemy's view which was that the earth was the center of the planetary system. In 1616 he was banned from holding or defending Copernicus' views. He didn't publish another book for the next 16 years. Then in 1624 he got permission from the pope to write a book about Ptolemy's and Copernicus' views as long as he didn't defend Copernicus' side. In 1632 the book was published the title was Dialogue of the Two World Systems- Ptolemaic and Copernican. In the book he made clear that he supported Copernicus' views. Then he was summoned to be formally tried in a church court and threatened with torture if he didn't reject his views. After five days of being tried he agreed to renounce his views and was sentenced to house arrest. He then spent the remainder of his life on his estate near Florence. Through poor health and increasing blindness he continued to work and produced an important book on mechanics until he died on January 8, 1642.



Galileo discovered many things. One of his discoveries was the discovery of the four moons of Jupiter known as the Galileon moons. These moons names are Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto. Galileo discovered these moons in 1610. He also did experiments on gravitation and motion. But what he is most famous for is astronomy. During his life the first telescope was invented, but it wasn't strong enough for what he wanted to see. He decided to build his own telescope which was much stronger then the first one ever made. It could magnify distant objects upto 33 times the size of the naked eye.Da Vinci's inventions Some observations he made were that the Milky Way was not a band of mist but a lot of stars. He also went against many peoples beliefs and saw through his telescope that the moon was not flat but was full of ditches and hills. He also was a big believer in the Copernicus theory. The theory was that the sun is the center of the planetary system. Many people at that time believed that earth was the center of the planetary system.

Galileo also did experiments unrelated to astronomy. One of these experiments proved Aristotle wrong. He proved him wrong because falling bodies of different weights speed up at the same rate. Another discovery that he found is related to the discovery that proved Aristotle wrong. The discovery was that two falling cannonballs of different weights fall at the same rate and hit the ground at the same time. Another discovery that he made was in Pisa. Legend says that while Galileo was in the Pisa Cathedral he saw a lamp swinging and noticed that each swing took the same amount of time as all the others no matter how far it swung. This gave him an idea of a pendulum to regulate clocks.

Galileo made many important discoveries, most of which were astronomical. He was an important person because if he wasn't around then we wouldn't have made important discoveries. We would have still thought that the Milky Way was a band of mist, we would have not had pendulum clocks and we wouldn't have found that two falling cannon balls or people of different weights fall at the same rate and hit the ground at the same time. We also would not have confirmed that the Copernicus theory was true. We also would not have books that explained the universe to us all. That is why Galileo was a truly important person.





Outside links:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galileo_Galilei
http://www.lucidcafe.com/library/96feb/galileo.html
http://www.crystalinks.com/galileo.html


Sources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galileo_Galilei
http://www.lucidcafe.com/library/96feb/galileo.html
http://starchild.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/StarChild/whos_who_level2/galileo.html
Renaissance- Volume 4 publisher: Grolier
The Renaissance publisher: The Penguin Group