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Galileo Galilei's Contributions To Science Essay

984 words - 4 pages

Galileo Galilei was a noteworthy Italian astronomer, physicist, philosopher, and mathemation. Along with Archimedes, Einstein, and Newton he represents one of the greatest scientists in the world. Galileo was not the first to invent the telescope, but the first to improve it and expand the ideas of the world in that time period.

Galileo Galilei was born on February 15, 1564, in Pisa, Italy, and was the first of seven children of Vincenzio Galilei, a trader and Giula Ammannati, an upper-class woman who married below her class. When Galileo was a young boy his family moved to Florence, Italy. In November of 1581, Vincenzio Galilei had Galileo enrolled in the University of Pisa, School of ...view middle of the document...

After his father’s death, Galileo supported many relatives and family, but the sum of his teaching salary was not nearly enough to pay all financial needs. He began to tutor, Prince Cosimo the son of Grand Duchess Christine of Tuscany, which helped Galileo with some of his financial problems.

In 1604, Galileo's belief he had found a new star - and his conclusion that the Earth was moving around the sun- began causing him problems. The Roman Catholic Church was uneasy about this declaration that they were wrong. The Church believed that all the stars were formed at the beginning of Creation, and that new stars were impossible. In 1609, Galileo heard of a spyglass that had been developed in Holland and quickly constructed one himself - the first telescope of twenty times magnification. Galileo presented the telescope to the senate of Venice in August of 1609, who was so impressed he doubled Galileo's salary and gave him a permanent job at the University of Padua.

Galileo used his new device to observe the heavens. He found that the popular belief that the moon was completely smooth was incorrect; for he could see the craters and mountains with his new device. In 1610, he observed four moons around Jupiter. This was incredible proof against the theory that the earth was the center of the solar system, because it was believed that all the planets and our moon revolved around the earth. Since these four moons apparently circled Jupiter, this theory was put in question.

Also through his telescope, Galileo observed that the Milky Way was made up of thousands of stars that could not be seen with the naked eye. After observing Earth's moon and then finding the four moons of Jupiter though his new device, he began to declare that the findings of Aristotle and Ptolemy were wrong. Galileo believed that the geocentric model was...

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