Galileo Galilei


Galileo revolutionized 16th-century European astronomy by greatly improving on the first crude telescope designs by Dutch lens maker Jan Lippershey. (Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress)

Physicist Revolutionizes Astronomical Observation with the Newly Invented


Among history's early astronomers, Galileo is famous mainly for his use of the first telescope directed into the night sky. He is celebrated as a physical scientist and as a supporter of the heliocentric solar system, or Copernicanism, as it was known in his time. By improving the original telescope designs ofJan Lippershey (1570-1619), a lens maker from the Netherlands, Galileo used observations and mathematics to revolutionize the scientific scene in Europe by providing overwhelming proof that the 1,500-year-old Ptolemaic (Earth-centered) model of the universe was wrong. He is also known as the first person to discover the four large moons of Jupiter.

Telescopes Mastery

Telescopes Mastery

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