Galileo Galilei, Italian astronomer

Galileo Galilei, Italian astronomer

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Credit: COLLECTION ABECASIS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Galileo Galilei (1564-1642). 1867 illustration of the Italian astronomer and scientist Galileo Galilei. Galileo made pioneering telescope observations of the night sky, including the four largest moons of Jupiter, mountains on the Moon, and the full set of phases of Venus. His observations supported the Copernican heliocentric theory, bringing him into conflict with the Roman Catholic Church. In 1632 he was found guilty of heresy and was held under house arrest for the rest of his life.

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