The Astronomer who Defied the Church


Galileo Galilei was known for his discoveries and experiments in mathematics, force, and motion. Those experiments helped Galilei discover that the Earth moved around the Sun and not the other way around.

Galileo Galilei was born in Pisa, Italy on February 15, 1564. Galilei was going to school until the age of 14 because his father thought he would “take up the life of a poor man of the cloth”. After a few years with a tutor, Galilei's father returned him to Pisa where he would study medicine at Pisa University.

Galilei is known for his work and his discoveries. At 21, he began to teach mathematics at Pisa University. But soon after, his father died, so Galilei decided to start teaching at Padua University where he taught for 18 years. While he was teaching at Padua University, Galilei started to work on his well-known experiment with the Leaning Tower of Pisa. He would soon prove Aristotle's theory that heavier things fall faster wrong. Galilei dropped two cannonballs of different masses off of the tower overhang and proved that two items of different masses would land at the same time. That experiment paved the way for the science of force and motion.

After countless experiments, Galilei's discoveries proved that the Earth is not the center of the universe, but the Sun is. And that the Earth revolved around the Sun. Rival academics still believed that the Sun, the planets, and the stars revolved around the Earth, as those ideas fit well with the Bible. Galilei's beliefs seemed heretical. Those times were dangerous for heretics as seen by the astronomer Giovanni Bruno who was burned at the stake for heretical thinking. After Galilei's second time of presenting his theory, the Pope Urban VIII dragged him back to Rome where he was put under house arrest for the rest of his life.

Even under house arrest, Galilei continued to do scientific research until he went completely blind in 1637. He soon later died on January 8, 1642. Supposedly the same year Issac Newton was born. Meanwhile, it took the church 350 years to admit that “errors have been made”. Galileo Galilei has impacted science in a way that will change our understanding of the universe.

[Source: The Great Scientists]

Awesome work on this article, Mariama! Such an interesting topic. I really like how you incorporated a quotation into this piece--really makes it a more sophisticated article! Keep it up. – Mckenna KohlenbergUW Law School (2018-07-16 08:50)
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