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Portrait of Galileo Galilei
Ottavio Leoni, Reunion des Musees Nationaux

Galileo Galilei

Galileo Galilei was an Italian astronomer and physicist who lived between 1564-1642. He challenged Aristotle's proposition that heavenly bodies were divine and therefore perfect and blemish-free.

Galileo was the first person to use a telescope to look at the heavens. He discovered sunspots, and craters and peaks in the moon. Galileo's work offended the Roman Catholic Church and he was sentenced to house arrest for the later years of his life. Today, he is remembered as a martyr for scientific truth.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF