1610: The Starry Messenger

The invention of the telescope by Dutch spectacle makers in 1608, and vastly improved upon by Galileo two years later, provided the tool for some of the most revolutionary and groundbreaking discoveries in the history of science.

Published by Galileo Galilei on March 13, 1610, Sidereus Nuncius (or Starry Messenger) revealed to the world Galileo’s observations as he view the night sky through his improved telescope.  These new revelations changed how we viewed the composition of the universe and our place among the cosmos and heavens.  Among these observations included: craters and mountains on the moon, additional stars in the night sky, and the discovery of four of Jupiter’s moons.

The publication of this book began the process of upending the long held ideas of Aristotelian cosmology and Ptolemaic astronomy by providing evidence for heliocentrocism, which was at the time in direct conflict with Christian theology.

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