Galileo Galilei, more commonly known simply as Galileo, was an Italian scientist and astronomer active during the late 1500s and early 1600s whose pioneering observations and studies have been credited as the birth of modern physics and astronomy. He was a supporter of the Copernican theory that the sun resides at the center of the Solar System and that the Earth rotates around it.
In 1609, having developed telescopes based on the designs by Dutch eyeglass makers, Galileo decided to point a telescope towards the sky in the hope of learning more about the universe. Despite controversy and ridicule from the Catholic Church, Galileo openly supported the Copernican theory that the Earth rotates around the Sun.
Throughout the 1600s, Galileo published several works based on his discoveries that refuted several Aristotelian explanations. More importantly, despite being a devout Catholic, Galileo's works refuted and challenged biblical claims. The Copernican theory that he supported was officially declared heresy by the Catholic Church in 1616, and Galileo was ordered not to hold, teach or defend the theory in any manner. As a devout Catholic, he honored these orders for a time. His discoveries and the overwhelming amount of evidence he was able to gather earned him the moniker "the father of modern science," and his findings were so compelling that in 1758, the church lifted their ban on work that supported Copernican theory.Learn More
The Orion Nebula, so named because of its proximity to the belt of the Orion constellation, is one of the brightest nebulae in the night sky and a region where young stars are in the process of forming. Astronomers have studied the nebula and learned much about the formation of protoplanets and brown dwarf stars. The nebula and its surroundings are home to more than 2,000 stars.Full Answer >
Titan is 3,200.051 miles in diameter. It the second-largest moon out of hundreds in the solar system and is Saturn's largest. Titan's mass is 80 percent greater than that of the Earth's moon, and its diameter is 50 percent longer than the diameter of the Earth's moon.Full Answer >
The average temperature on Mercury is 332 degrees Fahrenheit. The hottest temperatures on the planet can reach 801 degrees Fahrenheit, and temperatures can drop to as low as -279 degrees Fahrenheit.Full Answer >
The solar system formed approximately 4.6 billion years ago from clouds of dust and gas that were disrupted by astrophysical events. The shock wave began squeezing and clumping the clouds into a dense mass.Full Answer >