Galileo Galilei Biography For Kids

Galileo Galilei was born on 15 February 1564 near Pisa. His parents were Vincenzo Galilei and Guilia Ammannati. Galileo's father was a musician. Galileo spent his early years in Pisa, when he was ten years old, he moved to Florence, another city in Italy with his family.


His parents sent him to the Camaldolese Monastery at Vallombrosa which is situated on a magnificent forested hillside 33 km southeast of Florence. While Galileo was learning in monastery, his father decided that Galileo should become a doctor, so he sent Galileo to the University of Pisa.

Galileo was not interested in medical studies and soon changed to Philosophy and Maths. In 1592 Galileo became the professor of mathematics at the University of Padua.

In 1609 Galileo heard of a telescope invented by a Dutch lens maker, Hans Lippershey. The telescope helped to see closely objects that were far away. Galileo was interested in the telescope, and decided to make better telescope.

And Galileo did make a better telescope. The original telescope magnified the objects 3 times while the telescope made by Galileo magnified the objects, 8 to 30 times. And when he looked at the sky through the telescope Galileo saw what no one had ever seen.

Galileo found that the moon did not have a smooth surface, instead it was made of craters and mountains, which appeared as patches on the surface of moon. He found that the milky way actually consisted of many small stars. He noticed that the planet Jupiter had four moons, And that the planet Venus phases just like moon. Galileo also found the spots in Sun.

People of that time were not ready to accept anything that Galileo said, as for long people and churches have been following what Aristotle said.

But Galileo wrote his observations in the reports "Discourse on Floating Bodies" and "Letters on Sunspots", published in the year 1613.

Galileo also disagreed with the old belief that the Earth was the centre of the Solar System, instead he said that the Sun was the centre of the solar system and all the earth and other planets revolved around the Sun. He even took measurements to prove it.

The Church was unhappy at these findings of Galileo as it was opposite of the old belief system. It made Galileo unpopular.

People complained about Galileo to the church in Rome and he was called to Rome to explain his discoveries.

The church ordered Galileo not to write or speak about anything that was against the beliefs of people.

Galileo had spent his life trying to break an old belief through his discoveries. He earned a bad name, was summoned by the Church, but that did not stop him. He wanted the world to know the science behind what he said.

In 1632 Galileo published a book, "Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief Systems of the World", the book mentioned that the Earth moved around the Sun. He was called again by the church in Rome. The Church punished Galileo for spreading false teachings and not keeping up to promise he made to the church in 1616.

Galileo was kept under house arrest in his own home for the rest of his life. But Galileo never stopped, he worked at his home and wrote his observations which were secretly sent to the Netherlands, where they would be safe. Galileo kept working even until he went blind, and finally died on January 8, 1642.

Many years later Galileo's discoveries about the solar system and the earth revolving around the sun became accepted scientific facts. In 1774 Galileo’s books were moved from the Churches banned books list and the churches apologised for the treatment they gave to Galileo.

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Galileo Galilei For Kids