If there’s one man who could be called the father of modern astronomy, it’s Galileo Galilei. Now internationally famous and memorialized by rock songs and space probes to Jupiter, Galileo started his career humbly and died in controversy. Who was Galileo Galilei?
Did Galileo Invent the Telescope?
Born in Pisa, Italy, on February 15th 1564, Galileo was the son of a musician, but it was the spiritual life that first caught his
This painting of Galileo dates back to about 1640.Image Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Caird Collection
attention. A devout Roman Catholic, Galileo had wanted to join the priesthood but, at the age of 16, his father persuaded him to study for a medical degree instead.
It was while he was studying at the University of Pisa that he noticed a swinging chandelier and his interest in physics was awakened. After attending a lecture on geometry, he switched his studies to mathematics, natural philosophy and fine art.
At only 24 years old, he briefly became an instructor at the Academy of Arts of Drawing in Florence before returning to Pisa as the chair of mathematics the following year. Three years later, in 1592, he moved to Padua, where, ...