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Galileo Galileis father Vincenzo Galilei c1520 - 1591 who described himself as a nobleman of Florence was a professional musician He carried out experiments on strings to support his musical theories Galileo studied medicine at the university of Pisa but his real interests were always in mathematics and natural philosophy He is chiefly remembered for his work on free fall his use of the telescope and his employment of experimentation After a spell teaching mathematics first privately in Florence and then at the university of Pisa in 1592 Galileo was appointed professor of mathematics at the university of Padua the university of the Republic of Venice There his duties were mainly to teach Euclids geometry and standard geocentric astronomy to medical students who would need to know some astronomy in order to make use of astrology in their medical practice However Galileo apparently discussed more unconventional forms of astronomy and natural philosophy in a public lecture he gave in connection with the appearance of a New Star now known as Keplers supernova in 1604 In a personal letter written to Kepler 1571 - 1630 in 1598 Galileo had stated that he was a Copernican believer in the theories of Copernicus No public sign of this belief was to appear until many years later In the summer of 1609 Galileo heard about a spyglass that a Dutchman had shown in Venice From these reports and using his own technical skills as a mathematician and as a workman Galileo made a series of telescopes whose optical performance was much better than that of the Dutch instrument The astronomical discoveries he made with his telescopes were described in a short book called Message from the stars Sidereus Nuncius published in Venice in May 1610 It caused a sensation Galileo claimed to have seen mountains on the Moon to have proved the Milky Way was made up of tiny stars and to have seen four small bodies orbiting Jupiter
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