Galileo Galileo (February 15, 1564 - January 8, 1642)

One of the first who used a telescope (a term he coined in April, 1611) to observe the skies in late 1609, and the first to publish his observation to a wider audience; a summary of the first discoveries was published in his famous Sidereus Nuncius (Siderial Messenger) in May 1610. His first telescope had a free aperture of 16 mm and magnification of 21. Discovered many phenomena: Note: Some of these discoveries were independent rediscoveries, e.g. Thomas Harriot discovered the mountains on the Moon and sunspots earlier.

Previously, Galileo had observed and studied the "New Star" of 1604 (Kepler's supernova).

Posthumous honors are numerous and include the naming of asteroid (697) Galilea, (discovered February 14, 1910 by J. Helffrich in Heidelberg, provisionally named 1910 JO and, from independent sightings, A910 DA, 1945 GE, and 1979 FL2), Moon Crater Galilaei (10.5N, 62.7W, 15.0 km diameter, named 1935), Mars Crater Galilaei (5.7N, 27.0W, 137.3 km, named 1973) and "Galileo Regio" on Jupiter's "Galilean" Moon Ganymede, the naming of the Galileo Jupiter Orbiter spacecraft, as well as trivial things like street names, e.g. in Paris, France: Rue Galilée, and in Munich, Germany: Galileiplatz.



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Hartmut Frommert
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