Showing posts with label Galileo. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Galileo. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Galileo's Telescope

Galileo Galilei showing the Doge of Venice how to use the telescope - Photo: Wikimedia
Rumors of a Dutchman creating a device that would bring objects closer so you could see them more clearly reached Galileo in 1609.  He started using the device after he refined it to a 10-power telescope and made some amazing discoveries with it.  In 1610, he looked around Jupiter to find three satellites all in a straight line.  When he looked back, they were in all directions.  He surmised they were orbiting Jupiter and that, if this were true, then the Earth wasn't the center of the universe.  This theory went against what the church taught.  

The church believed Galileo to be quite wrong.  They said everything he could see in his new telescopic device went against everything the Bible said.  Galileo argued that even the interpreters of the Bible could have made a mistake in the interpretation.  He was accused of heresy, but proclaimed innocent and told not to teach any of the Copernican belief system.

Unbeknownst to the church, Galileo continued to study Jupiter and the movements of its moons.  He also started working on a paper about the ocean's tides.  He was brought before the court for trying to teach the Copernican system after being told not to.  He was placed under house arrest and until his death in 1642, he investigated even more areas of science.  

He made even more fascinating discoveries with his telescope.  He found there companion stars next to Saturn which was actually the edges of the rings that encircle the planet.  He found spots on the sun's surface and watched Venus go through its many phases from a planet down to a sliver of light.

He published his findings in a book called “The Starry Messenger” in 1610.  People were quite excited about some of the theories found in the book.  Imagine finding for the first time that the Earth was round, and not flat.  What would you think?