Galileo Galilei was born in Pisa in 1564. His father wanted him to become a doctor and sent him to study medicine at the University of Pisa. While there he discovered a natural talent for math, and eventually left medical school to pursue mathematics. In 1609, Galileo learned about the spyglass, a new invention helping people see distant objects by making them appear closer. This fascinated Galileo and led him engage his mathematics and engineering talents in a quest to build a more advanced spyglass. He ended up inventing the first telescope. Using the new device, Galileo became the first person to observe the Moon up close. He discovered that its surface wasn’t smooth, but actually mountainous and pitted like Earth! Continuing his astronomical research, he would use his telescope to establish that small moons circled Jupiter, and he closely observed the rings of Saturn and the phases of Venus.
Galileo’s experiments reinforced his confidence in the Copernican theory stating that all the planets, including Earth, revolve around the Sun. This view put Galileo very much in the minority. The Catholic Church strongly endorsed the “geocentric” idea that the Earth—God’s Earth, dwelling place of man—was the center of the universe.
When Galileo published his discoveries and openly stated his belief that the Earth circled the Sun, he was summoned to Rome. The Vatican accused him of being a non-believer opposed to church teachings. Ultimately, though, it decided to spare him from punishment as long as he refrained from publicly advocating for heliocentrism.
Deepening his study of the heavens, Galileo found further evidence that the planets, including Earth, revolved around the Sun. Years later he again decided to publish his findings, this time in a book. The decision enraged Church leadership and Galileo was once again brought to Rome to face the Inquisition for being a heretic. This time he was not so lucky. Sentenced to life in prison, he would die under house arrest in 1642. MORE AT LINK IN BIO #ageofideas #book #newsletter #somedayishere #galileo