- NAME: Galileo
- OCCUPATION: Astronomer
- BIRTH DATE: February 15, 1564
- DEATH DATE: January 08, 1642
- EDUCATION: Monastery school at Vallombrosa, near Florence, University of Pisa
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Pisa, Italy
- PLACE OF DEATH: Arcetri, Italy
- AKA: Galileo
- Full Name: Galileo Galilei
- Nickname: "The Father of Modern Science"
Best Known For
Italian scientist and scholar Galileo made pioneering observations that laid the foundation for modern physics and astronomy.
Galileo - Mini Biography (2:51)
Italian scientist and scholar Galileo's pioneering observations laid the foundation for modern physics and astronomy. He also constructed a telescope and supported the Copernican theory, which supports a sun-centered solar system.
Watch a short video about Galileo and find out how one astronomer uncovered the truth about the solar system.
Leonardo da Vinci began apprenticing under the artist Verrocchio. His best-known works are two of the most famous paintings of all time, the "Mona Lisa" and "The Last Supper."
Da Vinci kept a countless number of thoughts in his notebooks, which spanned subjects such as architecture, the sciences, engineering and weaponry but very little regarding his personal life.
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He was convicted of heresy and spent his remaining years under house arrest. Though ordered not to have any visitors nor have any of his works printed outside of Italy, he ignored both. In 1634, a French translation of his study of forces and their effects on matter was published, and a year later, copies of the Dialogue were published in Holland. While under house arrest, Galileo wrote Two New Sciences,
a summary of his life’s work on the science of motion and strength of materials. It was printed in Holland in 1638. By this time, he had become blind and in ill health.
Galileo died in Arcetri, near Florence, Italy, on January 8, 1642, after suffering from a fever and heart palpitations. But in time, the Church couldn’t deny the truth in science. In 1758, it lifted the ban on most works supporting Copernican theory, and by 1835 dropped its opposition to heliocentrism altogether.
In the 20th century, several popes acknowledged the great work of Galileo, and in 1992, Pope John Paul II expressed regret about how the Galileo affair was handled. Galileo's contribution to our understanding of the universe was significant not only in his discoveries, but in the methods he developed and the use of mathematics to prove them. He played a major role in the scientific revolution and, deservedly so, earned the moniker "The Father of Modern Science."
In 1600, Galileo met Marina Gamba, a Venetian woman, who bore him three children out of wedlock: daughters Virginia and Livia, and son Vincenzo. He never married Marina, possibly due to financial worries and possibly fearing his illegitimate children would threaten his social standing. He worried the two girls would never marry well, and when they were older, had them enter a convent. His son’s birth was eventually legitimized and he became a successful musician.
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