History

A handmade telescope

A handmade telescope

In 1609, the mathematician Galileo created an 8-magnification homemade telescope. With him he demonstrated to the authorities of Venice, in Italy, the full potential of this new instrument. The demonstration with his telescope earned him the position of mathematician and philosopher in Florence, in the service of Cosme II de Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany. He held this position from 1610 until his death, in the year 1642.

When Galileo was in the city of Venice, in 1609, he learned of a unique discovery made in Holland. It consisted of a tube with two lenses that allowed distant objects to be seen much closer. Galileo, who was a great craftsman, immediately made his own contraption. It is believed that for this telescope he used the tube of an organ, to which he incorporated eight magnifications.

With his rudimentary telescope Galileo made some of the most important discoveries in the history of astronomy.

Galileo's observations

Galileo was perfecting his telescope, and his observations with him gave rise to his book "Dialogue on the two great systems of the world" in 1632. This publication offered all the evidence that the observations with the telescope had provided in favor of the Copernican or heliocentric system.

Many are the results that Galileo obtained through his observations. He discovered that the Sun, considered until then a symbol of perfection, had spots, and that the Moon had an irregular surface, with valleys and mountains. He also noted that Saturn had strange appendages, which were later known to be his popular rings.

But it is the observations he made on Jupiter that proved most transcendental. Galileo managed to prove that this planet was surrounded by moons that resembled a tiny solar system. This statement was a great support for the arguments in favor of the Copernican universe.

Galileo, father of modern Astronomy

The Galileo telescope served to reveal the presence of numerous stars and other phenomena that until then were too weak to be appreciated by the human eye. Modern astronomy began in this way. Galileo, for the first time since Antiquity, offered the possibility of contemplating a new universe, full of phenomena waiting to be discovered and studied. That is why he was awarded the title of "father of modern astronomy."

In addition, the rationality that Galileo demonstrated in all his scientific processes has also given him the title of "father of Science". His passion for these disciplines led him to be subjected to a process by the Catholic Church. He was forced to publicly reject Copernican theory, suffered house arrest and was unable to republish new works or reissue previous ones.

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