Galileo- An Unsung Hero

Desiree Holz, Circulation Manager

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Galileo Galilei, also known as the “Father of Modern Observational Astronomy” made significant discoveries in mathematical and natural philosophy that everyone  from his era would scorn in disbelief. Galileo constructed his own model of a modern telescope, which helped him to prove the Heliocentric Theory. Most people did not agree with Galileo’s finding, especially the Roman-Catholic Church. While proving the Heliocentric Theory with a telescope, Galileo Galilei had a negative encounter with the Roman-Catholic Church, but he exchanged information on his exploration of the universe which caused a positive impact on the human understanding of the universe. Before Galileo made his discoveries, the only theory supported on the universe was the Geocentric Theory.  The Geocentric Theory was formed by Greek astronomer Ptolemy, it states that the Earth is the center of the solar system, and all the planets that revolve around it. The Geocentric Theory was widely accepted due to the Roman- Catholic Church by Bible scripture. Also many medieval and ancient astronomers supported the Geocentric, Theory. Nicolaus Copernicus, a Polish astronomer and mathematician, had a different view on the revolving universe. While trying to create an accurate calendar, Copernicus discovered that his calendar would only be arranged correctly with 365 days in a year. In the time of Galileo, the Roman-Catholic Church controlled the political and religious happenings within Italy. If you did something the Church did not agree with, your punishment would be enforced through governmental action. Around 1609, Galileo heard of some Dutch eye-glass makers combining lenses to enlarge objects. Galileo took interest in the eye-glass makers work, and began creating his own model. Once he completed his innovative model, which magnified up to the power 40. Galileo chose to point his modern telescope towards the sky, and made astonishing discoveries in only a few months. He witnessed the billions of stars in the milky way, and the many moons orbiting Jupiter. Galileo published his findings in The Starry Messenger. Soon after Galileo’s  The Starry Messenger became popular, the Roman-Catholic Church’s attention was caught. Galileo’s work caused major controversy in 1616. Since Galileo was a devout catholic, the Church stated that as long as no new findings were published, and that he did not hold any lectures Galileo could live a free man. Galileo lived a remarcable life and I hope people will someday give him the recognition he deserves. 

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Galileo- An Unsung Hero