- Year of Discovery: 1610
- What Is It? Other planets (be sides Earth) have moons.
- Who Discovered It? Galileo Galilei
- Why Is This One of the Science Greatest?
Galileo discovered that other planets have moons and thus extended human understanding beyond our own planet. His careful work with the telescopes he built launched modern astronomy. His discoveries were the first astronomical discoveries using the telescope.
Galileo proved that Earth is not unique among planets of the universe. He turned specks of light in the night sky into fascinating spherical objects—into places—rather than pin pricks of light. In so doing, he proved that Polish astronomer Nicholaus Copernicus had been right when he claimed that the sun was the center of the solar system.
With his simple telescope Galileo single-handedly brought the solar system, galaxy, and greater universe within our grasp. His telescope provided vistas and understanding that did not exist before and could not exist without the telescope.
- Fun Facts: Galileo would have been astonished to learn that Jupiter resembles a star in composition. In fact, if it had been about 80 times more massive, it would have been classified as a star rather than a planet.
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