Scientists find a practical test for string theory

( —Scientists at Towson University in Towson, Maryland, have identified a practical, yet overlooked, test of string theory based on the motions of planets, moons and asteroids, reminiscent of Galileo's famed test ...

The structure of the Milky Way

For thousands of years, people have been puzzling over the milky strip that extends across the entire firmament. In the modern era, Galileo Galilei discovered that this Milky Way consists of countless stars. However, it was ...

Testing Einstein's E=mc2 in outer space

(—University of Arizona physicist Andrei Lebed has stirred the physics community with an intriguing idea yet to be tested experimentally: The world's most iconic equation, Albert Einstein's E=mc2, may be correct ...

Europe's own satnav, Galileo, due to go live

Seventeen years and more than 10 billion euros ($11 billion) later, Europe's Galileo satnav system is set to go live on Thursday, promising to outperform US and Russian rivals while boosting regional self-reliance.

Jupiter's moon Ganymede

In 1610, Galileo Galilei looked up at the night sky through a telescope of his own design. Spotting Jupiter, he noted the presence of several "luminous objects" surrounding it, which he initially took for stars. In time, ...

The four most promising worlds for alien life in the solar system

The Earth's biosphere contains all the known ingredients necessary for life as we know it. Broadly speaking these are: liquid water, at least one source of energy, and an inventory of biologically useful elements and molecules.

Paradigm shift: How Galileo's spy glass upended science

Today it would hardly pass muster as a child's plaything, but the telescope Galileo used 400 years ago this week to peer into the heavens overturned the foundations of knowledge, changing our perception of the Universe and ...

Museum: Galileo's fingers, tooth are found

(AP) -- Two fingers and a tooth removed from Galileo Galilei's corpse in a Florentine basilica in the 18th century and given up for lost have been found again and will soon be put on display, an Italian museum director said ...

Galileo, Europe's own satnav, to go online

After 17 years and numerous setbacks and budget boosts, Europe's Galileo satnav system is due to go live on Thursday with promises of better-than-ever location services.

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Galileo Galilei

Galileo Galilei (15 February 1564 – 8 January 1642) was an Italian physicist, mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher who played a major role in the Scientific Revolution. His achievements include improvements to the telescope and consequent astronomical observations, and support for Copernicanism. Galileo has been called the "father of modern observational astronomy," the "father of modern physics," the "father of science," and "the Father of Modern Science." Stephen Hawking says, "Galileo, perhaps more than any other single person, was responsible for the birth of modern science."

The motion of uniformly accelerated objects, taught in nearly all high school and introductory college physics courses, was studied by Galileo as the subject of kinematics. His contributions to observational astronomy include the telescopic confirmation of the phases of Venus, the discovery of the four largest satellites of Jupiter, named the Galilean moons in his honour, and the observation and analysis of sunspots. Galileo also worked in applied science and technology, improving compass design.

Galileo's championing of Copernicanism was controversial within his lifetime, when a large majority of philosophers and astronomers still subscribed (at least outwardly) to the geocentric view that the Earth is at the centre of the universe. After 1610, when he began supporting heliocentrism publicly, he met with bitter opposition from some philosophers and clerics, and two of the latter eventually denounced him to the Roman Inquisition early in 1615. Although he was cleared of any offence at that time, the Catholic Church nevertheless condemned heliocentrism as "false and contrary to Scripture" in February 1616, and Galileo was warned to abandon his support for it—which he promised to do. When he later defended his views in his most famous work, Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, published in 1632, he was tried by the Inquisition, found "vehemently suspect of heresy," forced to recant, and spent the rest of his life under house arrest.

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