Galileo's tomb, Florence, Italy

Galileo's tomb, Florence, Italy

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Credit: SHEILA TERRY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Galileo's tomb, in the Santa Croce Basilica, Florence, Italy. Italian astronomer and physicist Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) made pioneering early telescope designs and observations. In 1610, he discovered the four largest moons of Jupiter. Above the sarcophagus is a statue of Galileo holding a telescope. Muses are on either side, with a Latin inscription below. His support for the Copernican heliocentric theory was declared heretical in 1633 by the Roman Catholic Church, and he was held under house arrest until his death. Initially buried in a side room, it was not until 1737 that he was reburied in the main area of the church, with this monument raised in his honour.

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