Galileo's Moon observations, 1610

Galileo's Moon observations, 1610

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Credit: MIDDLE TEMPLE LIBRARY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Galileo's Moon observations. Sketches of the Moon made in 1610 by the Italian physicist, mathematician and astronomer Galileo Galilei (1564-1642). These pioneering observations were made with the telescopes that Galileo had built in 1608. Galileo saw that the terminator (the line between the Moon's night and day sides) was sometimes irregular and sometimes smooth. He deduced that the irregularities were due to mountains on the Moon, the first time Earth-like objects had been discovered in the heavens. This challenged the existing worldview that said the heavens were perfect and unchanging. Page from 'Sidereus Nuncius' (March 1610).

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