Galileo Galilei, Italian astronomer

Galileo Galilei, Italian astronomer

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Credit: ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Galileo Galilei, (1564-1642), Italian astronomer and physicist. Galileo's discovery of moons that circled Jupiter, not the Earth, offered support for the controversial Copernican system that removed the Earth from the centre of the Solar system. This brought Galileo into conflict with the Catholic Church. After writing his Dialogue on the Two Chief World Systems in 1632, he was tried and found guilty of heresy and forced to recant his views. This portrait is from the front of his 1613 book on sunspots (Maccie Solari). The Italian inscription describes Galileo as a member of the Lincean Academy (founded 1603), and that he was the philosopher and mathematician of the Grand Duke of Tuscany.

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