Historical Context


Galileo's Birth

February 15, 1564

In 1564, Galileo was born to Vincenzo Galilei and Giulia degli Ammannati in Pisa, Italy, being the oldest sibling in a family of six.

Moves to Florence and Attends Vallombrosa


When Galileo's family moved to Florence, he attended the monastery of Vallombrosa. Some describe this location as the origin for his interest in physics when he had seen a lamp hanging and swinging with perfect rhythm, taking the same time to swing across any distance.

Enrollment in University of Pisa

1581 - 1585

In 1581, Galileo was enrolled into the University of Pisa to study medicine. By 1585 however, he was forced out of the university due to lack of funds, without completing his degree.

Discoveries Made Regarding Solar System

1609 - 1611

In this period of time, Galileo made most of his discoveries on the solar system including his support for the Heliocentric system theory. In 1611, he went to Rome to demonstrate his revised telescope.

Galileo's First Revised Telescope


Galileo's first revision of the telescope was created in 1609. At the time, telescopes that were already existing could only magnify objects three times, in contrast to Galileo's revision which allowed for twenty times magnification. This invention was vital to the progression of his research, as it allowed him to observe the stars and planets and further grasp their motion, leading him to support the Heliocentric model and other important discoveries.

Galileo's Writings Banned After Three Year Conflict

1613 - March 15, 1616

After a three year dispute over Galileo's findings involving Aristotelian scholars, the Catholic Church finally banned all writings by Galileo regarding his support for the Heliocentric theory. The church saw his beliefs as heresy and warned Galileo not to defend his stance further.

Trial of Galileo


In 1633, Galileo was put on trial for his beliefs. This was not primarily because he supported the Heliocentric theory, but because of his opposition of the Catholic Church, along with him recently publishing his famous Dialogue work. He was convicted for heresy and put under house arrest as a punishment.

Galileo's Death

January 8, 1642

Galileo died in his home under house arrest early in 1642, after suffering from heart palpitations and fever. Before death, he wrote all of his final thoughts in a journal which was later published.