Physics 1

1373 Words Aug 3rd, 2013 6 Pages
Galileo Galilei
It is no question that Galileo was an influential scientist in his time and still is today (picture located on page 6 from Though his most notable discoveries were in the field of astronomy, we cannot label him simply as an astronomer. He authored many important works including, Sidereal Messenger (also known as Starry Messenger), but unfortunately, due to the power of the Catholic church in his native Italy, his work in astronomy was widely rejected by his countrymen. His contributions to physics also place him in the ranks of the greatest scientists of all time. Without Galileo’s contributions to astronomy, mathematics, and physics, we would lack many basic understandings of the universe and
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However, contrary to legend, he did not experiment by dropping weights off the leaning tower of Pisa but rather by rolling spheres down an inclined plane.
Galileo’s most famous discoveries are his contributions to astronomy. Though he did not invent the telescope (it had long been used by sailors and soldiers to view objects in the distance) he improved upon it. The telescope used to view the heavens was supposedly brought to Venice by the Dutch in 1609. Catching wind of this, Galileo built his own telescope and then within a week made another improved version (Rosen, 180). He used it to observe Earth’s moon and other bodies in the solar system. He was the first to observe the phases of Venus, the composite structure of Saturn, Jupiter’s four moons, and mountains on Earth’s moon. Pictured above is Galileo’s personal telescope.
Galileo’s description of the moon was also a point of controversy. As Galileo observed, and as we know today, the moon is a solid object whose surface is rough: covered with mountains and craters. Though this does not shock us, to those living in 17th century Italy, this description was frightening because it did not coincide with a description of the moon in the book of Revelation. The crescent moon, as it appears in the described image, is smooth, possibly translucent, and immaculate. He also developed a mathematical formula for determining the height of the

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