While he did not invent the telescope, Galileo modified one of the devices before discovering a number of planets and moons, including Venus, which inspired a scientific revolution. His contention that Copernicus was correct about a heliocentric galaxy drew the ire of the Vatican, which believed the Earth was at the center of the galaxy. Galileo later published his findings, which resulted in his imprisonment.Continue Reading
Galileo was an undistinguished college teacher through his middle ages. It wasn't until he was 70 that he made waves with his theories on the structure of the galaxy.
Born in 1564 in Pisa, Galileo was an astronomer, mathematician, physicist and philosopher. He later became known as the father of modern observational astronomy, if not modern science in general, for his improvements to the telescope and subsequent research.
However, as a teacher, prior to his discoveries, he was required to teach the prevailing wisdom that dictated the Sun and other planets all revolved around Earth. His book, "Two Chief World Systems," resulted in his trial for and conviction of heresy. After being forced to recant his views on a heliocentric galaxy, he spent the remainder of his life under house arrest in his villa near Florence.Learn more about Middle Ages
Galileo Galilei is credited with discovering four of Jupiter's moons. He made this and many other discoveries in 1610 after building his first telescope.Full Answer >
The number of moons is constantly changing for some planets as they are discovered, but at the last official count there are 166 moons, with more than 20 waiting to be recognized as moons. This count is only of the moons that orbit recognized planets in the solar system. There are numerous other satellites, like asteroids, that have what would be considered moons circling them as well.Full Answer >
The characteristics that the outer planets have in common include their large size and their large number of moons when compared with the inner, or terrestrial, planets. They also lack solid surfaces, and as far as astronomers know, none are capable of supporting life. For example: Jupiter and Saturn are "gas giants" with atmospheres made up largely of hydrogen and helium, while Neptune and Uranus are called "ice giants" because their atmospheres also contain ammonia, methane and water ices.Full Answer >
Galileo is not credited with discovering that the world is round. The idea that the Earth is round is traced back to ancient Greece in the 6th century B.C.Full Answer >