Happy Birthday Galileo!
On this day, in 1564, Galileo Galilei was born. Astronomer, philosopher, physician…he played a central role in modern science.
His observations of the solar system, including the Moon, Jupiter, Venus and the Sun, lead to discoveries that revolutionised our knowledge of the universe.
While looking at Jupiter, for instance, he discovered its four moons. The newly discovered bodies were named Medicia sidera after the powerful family ruling the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, the House of Medici.
Many of his scientific instruments, including his two only surviving telescopes form part of the Museo Galileo collection in Florence.
Galileo Galilei lived in Villa il Gioiello, from 1631 until his death. The Villa, situated in Arcetri (Florence) is now part of the so-called Galileo Hill, which gathers all the important scientific institutions built in the area over the centuries. This includes the Arcetri Astrophysical Observatory, which is part of the National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF). In 1632, from Arcetri, Galileo released his world-famous manuscript “Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems”.
Happy birthday and thanks for paving the way for modern observation!