Galileo Confirms Heliocentric Model of the Solar System (Chronology of European History)
Article abstract: Galileo confirms the heliocentric model of the solar system through observations and analyses, leading to an inevitable clash between scientific inquiry and traditional beliefs.
Summary of Event
Galileo Galilei’s Sidereus Nuncius (1610; The Starry Messenger) created a sensation through- out Europe, with poets comparing his scientific discoveries to the feats of explorer Christopher Columbus. In the book, Galileo reported observing the heavens through a spyglass, later called a refracting telescope. After improving the magnification of the original Dutch spyglass, Galileo made additional observations during 1609-1610 and, for the first time, diagrammed the distant stars of the Milky Way, the constellation Cancer, and the nebula Praesepe. He also proclaimed that the earth’s moon was not as smooth as previously believed by Aristotle and his supporters. Instead, the moon was pitted with mountains, valleys, and craters. Over a two-month period, Galileo watched and sketched the horned moon change its shape. Turning his telescope on distant Jupiter, he observed strange lights nearby that changed positions over several weeks and deduced that they orbited Jupiter as the moon orbits the earth. These objects were, in fact, the moons of Jupiter. Galileo named them the “Medicean stars” to honor his patrons, the Medici rulers of Florence. Galileo also observed lights around Saturn, later...
(The entire section is 1493 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of this article. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!