On January 7th, 1610, Italian astronomer, natural philosopher, mathematician, and teacher Galileo Galilei (February 15, 1564 - January 8, 1642) discovered that four moons or satellites revolve around the planet Jupiter. In his book, The Sidereal Messenger, he describes them, naming them after the Medici family, his patron. His discovery substantiated the significant theory that the Sun, not the planet Earth, was the center of the universe -- in line with the beliefs of fellow Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus, as opposed to the Greek philosopher Aristotle. In addition, Galileo found that the telescope showed many more stars than visible solely to the human eye -- expanding man's understanding of the universe and its heavenly bodies.Galileo was tried by the Cardinals of the Roman Catholic Inquisition in 1633 for his belief in heliocentrism; he was imprisoned and sentenced to house arrest for life for his failure to rescind his doctrines.
Galileo's achievements inspired scientists over the following centuries to pursue discovery and knowledge of the solar system, helping prove that the Earth revolved around the Sun. His other main contributions included the phases of Venus, observation of Saturn's rings, and analysis of sunspots. His revolutionary vision led to Modern Astronomy, the renaming of the moons around Jupiter (now known as Galilean moons), and voyages of the Galilean Spacecraft, an American space probe which studied Jupiter's atmosphere over a period of fourteen years.
The following articles are drawn from Proquest Historical Newspapers, which informs and inspires classroom teaching and learning.
- Gregory, T.B. (1914, Jan 11). Galileo's First Telescope: His Discovery of Jupiter's Satellites Made Copernican Theory a Fact. The Washington Post (1877-1922)
- Ashbrook, H. (1925, Jul 12). When Galileo Was Tried For Modernism. The New York Herald, New York Tribune (1924-1926)
- Walker, S. (1964, Dec 27). Stars Above: Jupiter's Moons Found By Galileo. Los Angeles Times (1923-1995)
- Moore, P. (1965, Jul 04). Space Probes Of Yesterday: Galileo Galilei. New York Times (1923-Current File)
- Bishop, J. (1973, Nov 21). By Jupiter: As Pioneer 10 Passes Big Planet, It May Aid In Solving Mysteries. Wall Street Journal (1923 - Current File)
- Sehlstedt, A.,Jr. (1979, Jul 09). Roots Of Sky Lab Peril Traceable Back To Discovery By Galileo In 1610. The Sun (1837-1995)
- Williams, B. (1981, Jun 14). Named For Galileo: Craft Designed For Mission To Jupiter. Los Angeles Times (1923-1995)
- Revkin, A. C. (1985, Sep 08). Scientists Map Jupiter Itinerary For Spacecraft: Galileo. Los Angeles Times (1923-1995)
- Young, L. (1989, Oct 09). Galileo Spacecraft To Explore Jupiter's Atmosphere. The Sun (1837-1995)
- Gingerich, O. (2010, Dec 26). Starry Messenger: Two Biographies Consider the Astronomer, Physicist and Philosopher Galileo Galilei, Whose Life Story Is Full Of Puzzles. New York Times (1923-Current File)
- Drake, Stillman. Galileo: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press, 2001 .e-book
- Fantoli, Annibal. The Case Of Galileo: A Closed Question? Notre Dame, Indiana: University of Notre Dame, c2012. e-book
- Finocchiaro, Maurice A. Retrying Galileo, 1633-1992. Berkeley: University of California Press, c2005. e-book
- Panchyk, Richard and Buzz Aldrin. Galileo For Kids: His Life and Ideas. Chicago, Ill.: Chicago Review Press, 2005. e-book
- Shea, William R. Galileo In Rome: The Rise and Fall Of a Troublesome Genius. Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press, 2003. e-book
- Galilean Moons, Wikipedia
- Special News Slide, Courtesy of the Gottesman Libraries
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