Galileo's Telescope Is 400 Years Old


dumpthemonarchy
#1
Thanks to Galileo, knowledge advances and Western civilization marches on against religious darkness.


Galileo's telescope reaches 400th anniversary | Science | guardian.co.uk

Galileo's telescope reaches 400th anniversary

It is 400 years since Galileo Galilei demonstrated his telescope, which would lead him to make new astronomical observations

Galileo's telescope helped the astronomer to learn more about our solar system. This is a reconstruction of the telescope. Photograph: Jim Sugar/Corbis



While many people have been loudly celebrating this year's double commemoration of 200 years since Charles Darwin's birth and 150 years since the publication of On the Origin of Species, another scientific anniversary has crept up relatively quietly, marking an event which arguably changed human thought and the way we see ourselves even more irrevocably.


Exactly 400 years ago today, on 25 August 1609, the Italian astronomer and philosopher Galilei Galileo showed Venetian merchants his new creation, a telescope the instrument that was to bring him both scientific immortality and, more immediately, a whole lot of trouble.


A refinement of models first devised in the Netherlands, Galileo's slim, brown stick was puny even by the standards of something one might buy in hobby shop today. But his eight-powered telescope, and the more powerful models he soon produced, when pointed skywards led Galileo to a series of groundbreaking conclusions.


The moon was not, as long believed, completely smooth. Another planet, Jupiter, also had moons. Meanwhile Venus showed a range of moon-like phases, something which could not happen if both it and the sun orbited the earth.


This latter phenomenon had been predicted by Nicolaus Copernicus when, nearly a century before, he had proposed the notion of a planetary system with the sun at the centre, not the earth.


Galileo's discoveries were, perhaps predictably, not best welcomed by the Catholic church, and he spent the final decade of his life under house arrest.
It was certainly a revelation which upset the orthodoxies and the churches at least as much as Darwin's, and perhaps merits a bit more of fuss, although museum-goers in Philadelphia and Stockholm can view one of Galileo's very early telescopes, on loan this year from Florence. A good deal more people are likely to be alerted thanks to Google's day-long adaptation of their main page logo to a Google Doodle in honour of the event.
 
Spade
#2
Geezus, instead of "telescope", I read "testicles!" Need a visual aid to scope out these threads.
 
#juan
#3
About thirty five years ago we bought our son a Tasco 50mm, f:12 refractor. This was just about the smallest telescope Tasco sold at the time and it cost $149.00. Gallileo would have been ecstatic with my son's little refractor as it would have outperformed his telescope by a huge margin.
 
dumpthemonarchy
#4
Quote: Originally Posted by #juan View Post

About thirty five years ago we bought our son a Tasco 50mm, f:12 refractor. This was just about the smallest telescope Tasco sold at the time and it cost $149.00. Gallileo would have been ecstatic with my son's little refractor as it would have outperformed his telescope by a huge margin.

So you can see the craters on the moon. I should buy a telescope, I keep putting it off. But living in the city, it hardly seems worth it.

I read that once science definitively proved no people lived on Mars, people in asylums stopped raving about Martians.
 
#juan
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by dumpthemonarchy View Post

So you can see the craters on the moon. I should buy a telescope, I keep putting it off. But living in the city, it hardly seems worth it.

I read that once science definitively proved no people lived on Mars, people in asylums stopped raving about Martians.

On another topic (Astronomy Photos) I posted several photos that were taken using a very modest telescope. Living in the city is not the big disadvantage people think it is, other than our pacific coast weather. All astronomers want their own personal Hubble, but you can see interesting things with a relatively small telescope. With the tiny refractor I mentioned earlier, on a good night, you could see the rings of Saturn including the Cassini division, the four big moons of Jupiter, Some surface detail on Mars, etc.
 
dumpthemonarchy
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by #juan View Post

On another topic (Astronomy Photos) I posted several photos that were taken using a very modest telescope. Living in the city is not the big disadvantage people think it is, other than our pacific coast weather. All astronomers want their own personal Hubble, but you can see interesting things with a relatively small telescope. With the tiny refractor I mentioned earlier, on a good night, you could see the rings of Saturn including the Cassini division, the four big moons of Jupiter, Some surface detail on Mars, etc.

I shall have to check that out.

I wonder about Italy, the country can be very traditional, but they manufacture more original popular products like Fiat cars and Vespa scooters. Tons of great food and fashionable cities like Florence. Our media criticizes their "pizza parliaments" but it is by no means a bad country to live in. Even though I haven't been there, I think it is fine to live there.
 

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