How Did Galileo Galilei Contribute To Astronomy

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Galileo Galilei was an extraordinary astronomer who contributed to many different fields, but in particular to astronomy. He improved on a telescope that allows you to observe the moons of Jupiter and the rings of Saturn. He was also able to view the phases of Venus including the sunspots and uneven surface of the moon. Galileo began to publish papers about his ideas and discoveries, which included his belief in a heliocentric universe. Galileo was born in 1564 in Pisa, Italy. He was one of six children born to Vincenzo Galilei, a famous musician and theorist of music. He attended the University of Pisa to study medicine but soon became fascinated with many other subjects such as mathematics and physics. Galileo continued to study mathematics…show more content…
This telescope had a magnification of 8-9 times more than a normal telescope which helped him discover four new moons orbiting the planet Jupiter, which at the time he thought were stars. These moons, lo, Ganymede, Europa and Callisto are now known as the Galilean moons. (3) With these new discoveries, Galileo wrote and published ‘The Starry Messenger’ which made him quite famous in his hometown of Italy. Galileo was the first to see the craters of the moon, and he also discovered sunspots on the surface. Using his telescope, Galileo was also the first person to observe that the planet Venus goes through phases just like the moon does. This was his first clue as to why he believed the sun is the centre of the solar system. He also learned that the Milky Way is made up of gigantic number of stars which had never been seen before, and that Saturn has ‘ears’ or as we know it today ‘rings’, which greatly contributed to research years after his death that gives us the information we know today about the universe. (5) The Starry Messenger included observations of the moons surface and information on new stars in our Milky Way, but in particular his view of a heliocentric universe (solar system revolves around the…show more content…
Instead of trying to give markers what they want and think is correct, I will present what I think is right, even if others may not agree with me. I also think it is awe inspiring that any individual in the 16th century could have such vision and insight to make such amazing discoveries in a world that seemed to have such limited resources. The world of today seems to embrace new ideas and encourage innovative thinking. The world that Galileo was born into was very apprehensive and closed to new ways of thinking. It seems that it would have taken a very passionate and dedicated person to keep on insisting with new beliefs. This was Galileo. It is also interesting to note that Galileo even though he was exceptional and very gifted in his area of expertise he still had a family life with the same worries and concerns that any family man in modern society would face. He faced financial trouble, which led him to leaving university as a student before he could finish his degree. He earned money by doing a bit of teaching here and there and finally landing himself the teaching position at the University of Padua, which came at a opportune time as his father had just passed away and left Galileo with his younger brother Michelagnolo who he had to care for as well as his family. I think this is quite interesting as you often forget that famous people of the past can have a normal life like ourselves

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