Galileo 's Observation Of Astronomy

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Galileo’s use of the telescope in 1609 revolutionized the field of astronomy because his observations disproved the geocentric theory and provided strong evidence for the Copernican/Heliocentric system. Galileo discovered four satellites orbiting Jupiter; this observation contradicted the geocentric theory by proving that it is possible for objects to orbit something other than Earth. His observation of the phases of Venus supported the heliocentric theory because he discovered they were similar to the Moon’s phases (from thin crescent to full) which would not be possible if Venus orbited the Earth as it would never pass behind the Sun. Further, he observed that Venus changed size which would be expected if it was orbiting the sun as predicted by the Copernican system.

Ground-based telescopes are limited because atmospheric light absorption prevents most wavelengths of light from reaching the ground; only visible light, radio waves and some infrared wavelengths can be observed from ground-based telescopes. Space telescopes are advantageous because they are above the atmosphere and thus allow us to observe other wavelengths such as gamma rays, x-rays, ultraviolet and infrared. They are also unaffected by weather, daylight, and light pollution. Another advantage of space telescopes is that they can provide sharper images because they are unaffected by atmospheric turbulence which can blur the images of ground-based telescopes (a phenomenon known as ‘seeing’).

As of 2006 the
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