Galileo Galilei was an astronomer in the 17th century. Galileo has played a key role in philosophy and science. Because Galileo observed that space was much bigger than thought by astronomers before him, he is very important to modern science today. Galileo Galilei was born on February 15, 1564, in Pisa, Italy. Some important historical event that happened throughout his lifetime are in 1567 millions of Native Americans are killed by disease. In 1597, Shakespeare’s play, Romeo and Juliet is published. Finally, in 1636, Harvard University was founded. Galileo Galilei was the first of six children to Vincenzo Galilei and Giulia Ammannati.
In the 1570’s Galileo’s family moved to Florence, Italy. When he lived in Italy, art, science, literature were uprising. This was known as the Renaissance. Galileo really wanted to go into priesthood when he was younger. Although, his father, Vincenzo, wanted him to study medicine to financially support the family. So, his father sent him to study at the University of Pisa. Galileo Galilei studied the philosophy of Aristotle and medicine for four years at the University of Pisa. While at the University of Pisa, Galileo became fascinated by mathematics.
He began to be interested by mathematics when he watched a huge chandelier swing back and forth in the Pisa Cathedral. Galileo noticed that the small and large arcs of the suspended lamp took the same amount of time to swing from it first position and back. He timed the movements with his pulse. Memorized by the chandelier Galileo grabbed two pendulums, both swings at different lengths, and made a very notable discovery that even with different lengths of swings both took the same amount of time to swing from one place to the other. Galileo also noted that the swings also synchronized with each other.
This discovery with the chandelier and pendulums would later on lead to his invention of the pendulum clock. Galileo Galilei got kicked out of the University of Pisa before he receive his degree in mathematics. Financial issues cut his education short. Shortly after, Galileo left the University he wrote a book called The Little Balance. “The Little Balance” is about Archimedes’ method on how to find different gravities of objects by using a balance. The next four years of his life he spent it as a math tutor. During the time Galileo was a math tutor he started not to believe the teachings of Aristotle and instead Archimedes.
In 1589 Galileo was appointed the chair of mathematics at the University of Pisa. This was around the time he did one of his most famous experiments. Galileo conducted an experiment in the Leaning Tower of Pisa. He dropped two objects, both of different masses, to see which one would hit the ground first. Both objects hit the ground at the same time. Galileo proved that objects at various weights will land at the same time. This was against Aristotle’s teachings. The University of Pisa required Galileo to teach the all planets and the sun revolved around Earth, which is a teaching of Aristotle.
Galileo went against his contract and resigned. Galileo’s contract was not renewed at the University of Pisa because he got an unaccepted rank in the society. Galileo had an unaccepted rank at the University of Pisa because he went against the teachings of Aristotle. After Galileo Galilei was not welcomed back at the University of Pisa, he signed a contact with the University of Padua to be on the chair of mathematics. At the University of Padua Galileo taught astronomy, mechanics, and geometry. This job helped Galileo earn money so he could take care of his little brother, Michelangelo.
Their father had died earlier in the year, July 2, 1591, he was 70 years old. So, Galileo was entrusted with Michelangelo. He also had to financially support the rest of his family. Which included; his mother, two sister, and Michelangelo. His other siblings died when Galileo was a kid. In the time Galileo worked at the University of Padua he became more and more famous for his scientific experiments. Galileo met Marina Gamba on one of his trips he took to Venice. In 1599, Marina moves into Galileo’s home in Padua, Italy. Marina Gamba was 22, while Galileo was 36.
Although, they were never married they had three children together, Two daughters named, Virginia and Livia. Also they had a son, named after Galileo’s father. The son’s name was Vincenzio. Virginia and Livia both became nuns by the names of Sister Maria Celeste and Sister Arcangela. Both daughters then moved out of their house to live in convents. Galileo then left Padua for a few years, leaving Marina behind. He traveled to Florence, Italy, where he was offered a position on the Court of Medici Family. During the period Galileo was away, in 1613, Marina Gamba married a man. The man’s name was Giovanni Bartoluzzi.
Heartbroken, Galileo took his son and went to live in Florence, Italy. Throughout Galileo’s lifetime he had many accomplishments involve his inventions. He made many inventions to contribute to the area of science. Galileo’s inventions include; the thermoscope and pendulum clock. Galileo also improved upon the spyglass and the telescope. In 1609, Galileo built the first version of his telescope. He is often incorrectly credited with the invention of the first telescope. Galileo only improved the telescope and made his own. He modeled his telescope by the ones that were made in other parts of Europe.
The first telescope was made by Hans Lippershey. The telescopes that were in other parts of Europe could magnify up to three times. Once Galileo Galilei heard about the telescope he started, right away, to engineer a better improved version of it. His version of the telescope was almost identical to the way opera glasses worked. He made his telescope by having concave lenses in the back and convex lenses in the front. Galileo’s new and improved telescope can magnify up to twenty times. He also grinded his own lenses and changed the ways the lenses were arranged.
Galileo Galilei found many new discoveries in outer-space with the telescope he re-invented. Galileo used the pendulum swing he created while watching the swinging chandelier at the University of Pisa to create his pendulum clock blueprints. He created the blueprints of pendulum clock in one of the last years of his life. Since Galileo was getting older he hired an assistant by the name of Vincenzo Vivani in 1639. Vincenzo Vivani was Galileo’s first biographer and he helped Galileo edit his books and any other documents. Although, Galileo did not construct the pendulum clock, he did come up with the idea for it.
It is said that Galileo’s son, Vincenzo, tried to construct the clock after his father’s death using Galileo’s blueprints. Despite the fact that Vincenzo could not get the clock to work correctly, a scientist whose name was Christiaan Huygens, assembled the first working pendulum clock in 1656. Christiaan Huygens did, for the most part, use Galileo’s blueprints. The pendulum clock uses swinging weights to keep time. In most pendulum clocks there are at least three different lengths that swing back and forth to keep precise times. The blueprint used a pin-wheel type design for the main part of the clock.
The pin-wheel and some pawls are connected to the actual pendulums. Pawls are “a pivoted bar adapted to engage with the teeth of a ratchet wheel or the like so as to prevent movement or to impart motion. ” When the pawl is rotating it catches on another creating a small movement to keep the clock moving. This movement helps the pendulums keep moving to keep precise times. The pendulum clock is very important to precise time-keeping. Galileo invented the Galilean thermometer, it is also known as the Galilean thermoscope. Galileo created the idea for the thermometer.
Galileo created the idea for the thermometer because in the seventeenth century that had no way to measure heat. He conducted an experiment to help him create the blueprint for the thermometer. A man by the name of Benedetto Castelli saw Galileo conduct this experiment. Later Benedetto wrote about the experiment Galileo conducted. He wrote, “He took a small glass flask, about as large as a small hen’s egg, with a neck about two spans long [perhaps 16 inches] and as fine as a wheat straw, and warmed the flask well in his hands, then turned its mouth upside down into the a vessel placed underneath, in which there was a little water.
When he took away the heat of his hands from the flask, the water at once began to rise in the neck, and mounted to more than a span above the level of the water in the vessel. The same Sig. Galileo had then made use of this effect in order to construct an instrument for examining the degrees of heat and cold. ” Galileo made many discoveries that involve modern science today. With his discoveries and observations Galileo showed that space was much bigger than thought. Galileo discovered many moons, planets, created many science laws with his observations, that the sun is in the center of the universe, and many other things.
With the telescope Galileo re-invented, he saw four of Jupiter’s moons and named them the medicean planets. The telescope had a magnification of up to twenty times. He discovered these moon’s around December 1609 or January 1610. Galileo rote the letter that said he discovered Jupiter’s moons on January 7, 1609. Galileo named the four moons, also known as satellites, Ganymede, Callisto, Europa, and Lo. He studied the planet, Jupiter, of the course of one month and found the route each one of the moons take. Galileo wrote about the moons in his book named, siderius Nuncius. The moon named Lo, is the fourth largest moon in the universe.
This moon also has around 400 volcanoes that are active, 200 mountains, and it has a very thin atmosphere. Europa is the smallest of the four moons and is one of the smoothest moon in the Solar System. Europa is covered in water that is frozen over. Ganymede is the largest moon in the Solar System and it’s diameter is 5262. 4 kilometers. It is covered in craters and in ice. Callisto is the farthest moon away from Jupiter. This moon is the third largest moon in the Solar System and is the second largest out of the four moons. Most people during Galileo’s time thought that the moon had a very smooth surface.
From the ery end of November until the middle of December in 1609, Galileo observed the moon. He drew the moon using his observations and a book he had written earlier in his life. Galileo noticed that the moon had dark areas and light areas, this would later be known as the moon’s phases and he noticed that the moon had a rough, uneven surface. He concluded that the moon had a surface like Earth. It had valleys, plains, and mountains. Galileo also stated that the shadows are from the sun as it rises and falls. As the moon changes position, different shadows are cast across the surface, this creates the moon’ phases.
Saturn’s rings were first discovered by Galileo in 1610. Galileo could not figure out what the rings were at the time. At first when Galileo saw Saturn through his telescope, he thought that Saturn’s rings were to moons on each side of the planet. A few years later, 1616, Galileo thought that Saturn looked like a “planet with handles,” due to the planets rings. Forty years later, Christian Huygens, finally came to a conclusion that Saturn does have rings. In the fall of 1610, Galileo Galilei started to observe Venus, using his telescope. Galileo observed that Venus had phases that were very similar to our moon.
Which means Venus had to have been orbiting the sun. Galileo concluded that the Earth was in fact not at the center of the universe, but the Sun was. Nicholas Copernicus had already come up with this idea, Galileo just proved it was true. Galileo also discovered dark regions on the sun’s surface, which are known as sunspots. He discovered the sunspots, mostly, at the end of 1610 and in the beginning of 1611. Galileo and four other people observed the sunspots during these two years. They observed that the sunspots appeared to move across the sun’s surface. Later on, Galileo figured out that the sun rotated.
He wrote about these observations in his Letters on Sunspots. In 1613, Galileo unofficially discovered Neptune, but Neptune was officially discovered in the 1800’s. Recent studies have shown that in some of Galileo’s research notebooks, he had observed Neptune and had thought it was a star. Although, he did notice that the ‘star’ did orbit or move in relation to the other planets. Galileo Galilei created two famous scientific laws during his lifetime. They are the law of falling bodies and the law of the pendulum. Galileo created the law of falling bodies when he did his experiment of the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
Galileo concluded that “that bodies fall on the surface of the earth at a constant acceleration, and that the force of gravity which causes all bodies to move downward is a constant force. ” The law of the pendulum is when he created his own pendulum after seeing a chandelier at the University of Pisa. The law of the pendulum states that an object has a constant period even when moving at different angles Galileo Galilei was summoned to Rome in 1632, after he wrote a book that was controversial to the Church and the teachings of Aristotle. Galileo was questioned by the Inquisition in September 1632 and July 1633.
For most of the time when he was questioned, Galileo was treated with respect. Finally, during one of his last months in Rome, he Galileo was threatened and tortured. Galileo was then committed of heresy. He spent some of his last years of his life under house arrest. For eight years of his life he was under house arrest, all the way until death. He became blind while under house arrest at the age of 72. Although, Galileo was blind he still continued to write books. Galileo died in Arcetri, Italy, which is near Florence, Italy, in January 8, 1642.
He died because of heart failure and a severe fever. Galileo disnt receive a pardon from the Catholic Church until after he dies in 1992. Galileo is very important to modern science and space exploration today, especially because he observed that space was much bigger than thought by astronomers before him. Since Galileo had so many scientific discoveries he helped the area of space exploration, has a probe named after him, and has many books written on him. Galileo Galilei will always be remembered for his scientific, space exploration.