Today in World History: February 15th

Galileo Galilei was born in 1564 in the Italian city of Pisa. He was a pioneer in physics and astronomy, discovering satellites of Jupiter and the existence of sunspots. Galileo also conducted the famous experiment of dropping heavy iron balls from the Leaning Tower of Pisa to see if the difference in their weight made a difference in the speed of their fall, which it didn’t. He made many enemies, most powerful of which was the Pope and the Catholic Church. In 1564, although its powers were already beginning to fade, the Catholic Church was the most powerful entity in Europe. Countries and Empires would either fall or rise with its will, and it often granted researchers grants. Unfortunately for Galileo, the Inquisition was also at a high point in its life. Eventually, Galileo began to suspect that the Earth was not the center of the universe, as claimed by the Church, but rather went around the Sun. Galileo published these findings and quickly made enemies. The Inquisition found him guilty of hereticism after investigating his studies, and after being convicted, was sentenced to house arrest, where he lived until his death in 1642 at the age of seventy-seven.

“All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them.”

-Galileo Galilei

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