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Galileo Galilei

Emina Hadrovic

Salt Lake Community College

Physics 1040-002

April 10, 2017

M. Weiss
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Galileo Galilei

Galileo Galiilei mostly commonly know by only his first name Galileo, was a popular

physicist and astronomer. Galileo did not begin his career going into physics and astronomy but

going into medicine. He changed his mind when he realized the he had a talent in math ( The

Star Child Team, 2017). The thought of Galileo maybe not becoming the person that he was is

scary, if he didn't chose physics and astronomy would any of the amazing discoveries he made be

the same, probably not. Galileo made big impacts on physics and astronomy and what I want to

discuss is the three biggest impacts he has made. The three biggest impacts he made is objecting

that the Earth is the center of the solar system, creating a powerful telescope but not inventing it,

and publishing his work, defying the church ( Bennet, 2017). Galileo has done much more and is

now a highly respected physicist and astronomer, unlike back in his day he was a disgrace for not

following the church but that didnt stop him.

Sun Centered Solar System

Galileo Galilei was born and died between the years 1564-1642, in those years they

believed in an Earth centered solar system. To explain what that means it is that all the planets in

our solar system including the Sun orbits around the Earth rather then everything orbiting the

Sun. Galileo gathered evidence that showed that an Earth centered solar system was not true but

an Sun centered solar system is true. He proved this by arguing Aristotles claim Earth could not

be moving because objects like birds, falling stones, and clouds would be left behind if Earth

moved is not true (Bennet, 2017). He shows this by doing an simple experiment involving balls

and how they roll. The balls will keep rolling until a force stops it. He shows rather then birds

falling back, they would move with Earths motion proving that Aristotles claim is false (Bennet,

2017). Galileo used something simple as ball to explain and prove that he was right. Aristotles
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claim could have easily been proved that it was false by going outside and rolling a ball, Galileo

was the great physicist and astronomer that actually went out and proved it. He wanted people to

see this and everyone in his time did not listen. Also, with the telescope that Galileo created he

can see Venus which showed it was orbiting the Sun instead of the Earth (Bennet, 2017). The

evidence he collect clearly showed that we had a Sun centered solar system and he is highly

credited for discovering this.

Telescope

Galileo is known for a lot of amazing things, he is credited for inventing the telescope,

although he did not invent the telescope. Galileo built a telescope in 1609 but the telescope was

already invented by Hans Lippershey in 1608. Galileo telescope was way more powerful then

Lippersheys telescope. The invention of the spyglass is what made him invent his telescope.

Basically what a telescope does is make distant object appear closer. Galileos telescope made

amazing discoveries in the skies. His discoveries proved another of Aristoles claims as false, the

claim was that every thing in the heavens must be perfect and unchanging (Bennet, 2017).

Galileo with his telescope gave evidence that the Sun had sunspots and was not perfect, and he

saw that the Moon had mountains and valleys making it imperfect. His telescope also helped

support his Sun centered solar system by observing four moons orbiting Jupiter (Bennet, 2017).

It has been 400 years since Galileo first discovered the four moons orbiting Jupiter ( The Star

Child Team, 2017). His telescope made a huge impact in the astronomy field and has helped

astronomers further their research and find more planets and galaxies. The telescopes we have

now are incredible but the telescope Galileo had was incredible for the technolgy in his time.

Publishing Work
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Galileo was incredibility brave to publish his work considering that it might even cost

him his life. He was called to The Catholic Church in 1616 because of his work and the church

accused him of being a heretic but they let him go because he said he wouldnt state his belief

publicly. Although Galileo went against the church and published a book in 1632 stating his

beliefs. The church called him again and this time gave him life imprisonment in 1633. He was

imprisoned in his own house because of his old age ( The Star Child Team, 2017). Galileo knew

that if he did not get his work out to the world then no one would know the truth. He fought to

have his work read and at the end it was all worth it because now his work is even used today.

Conclusion

Galileo was a wonderful physicist and astronomer, he provided wonderful evidence to

prove what he believed in. The major impacts that Galileo had on physics and astronomy was

showing that the Earth centered solar system was not correct, he made a powerful telescope, and

that he also fought to have his work published even when his life was on the line. Galileo tried to

have his work be read and listened to in his time but the church stopped anyone from furthering

any interest in it but it still got heard and changed the world making it the way it is now. The

world would not be the way it is now if Galileo was not here, he was very important into getting

a good understanding on our planets and solar system.


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References

Bennett, J., Donahue M., Schneider, N., Voit, M. (2017). Pearson: The Essential Cosmic

Perspective (7th ed.). San Francisco, CA: Pearson Education.

The Star Child Team. (2017). Galileo Galilei. Retrieved from

https://starchild.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/StarChild/whos_who_level2/galileo.html