Life Of Galileo Galilei

Galileo was an Italian philosopher as well as astronomer. He was born in the city of Pisa, on February 15, 1564. His father Vincenzo Galilei was a well-known musician. Vincenzo wanted Galileo to become a doctor, so in 1581 Galileo was sent to University to study medicine. When Galileo was at the University, he discovered that he had a great talent for mathematics and so persuaded his father to leave the university to become a mathematics tutor and later on he became a professor of mathematics.

In 1609, Galileo heard about the invention of “THE SPYGLASS”, which made objects far away appear closer. He used his mathematic skills and technological knowledge to improve the features and the spyglass itself. After doing so, he built his own telescope. In the same year, he became the first person to look at the moon through a telescope and was able to make his first astronomical discovery; He discovered that the moon was pitted and mountainous like the Earth and not smooth like people thought it is. “He subsequently used his newly invented telescope to discover four of the moons circling Jupiter, to study Saturn, to observe the phases of Venus and study sunspots on of course our Sun”

His research strengthened his belief in Copernicus’ theory, about the Sun being in the centre of the solar system. At the time, Galileo was born people still believed that the Earth was in the centre of the universe and all the other planets revolved around the Earth. The Catholic Church, which at Galileo’s time was very powerful, very strongly believed in the Earth-centred universe. When Galileo started to publish his findings and his research, he was called to Rome to answer some charges which are brought against him by the Inquisition (people of the Catholic Church). In the year of 1616, he was accused of being a heretic; a person who opposes the church teachings. Heresy was considered a very serious crime and violators were sometimes even sentenced to death. He too was accused of heresy but he cleared his charges and was told not to publicly state his theory or belief in the Sun-Centred System.

Galileo ignored this and continued his study of the Planets and Stars and in 1632 published a book, stating that Nicolaus Copernicus’ Theory of the heliocentric model was correct. He again was called before the inquisition and therefore was found guilty of heresy. He was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1633. Galileo Galilei died on January 8 1642.


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