This Week In History: Galileo’s Death

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Zion Frost, Staff Writer

When you think of famous people, there are probably some names that ring a bell if you have an interest in science or space. Galileo Galilei may or may not be one of these. Galileo continues to have a profound effect on the way modern society views astronomy, even after his death. Galileo was most known for his inventions and discoveries.  He died this week on Jan 8, 1642. Here are a few fun facts about the name we hear so often:

  1. Although Galileo was known for his talent and genius in the field of physics, math and astronomy, he dropped out of college.
  2. Theoretical physician, Albert Einstein was a huge fan of Galileo. Einstein once called Galileo the “father of modern physics- indeed of modern science altogether.”
  3. On March 12, 1737 (95 years after his death) Galileo’s middle finger was removed from his body. Now, it has a place in the Museo Galileo in Florence, Italy.
  4. Galileo had three children, but never married their mother, Marina Gamba.
  5. In 1616, Galileo was put on trial by the Catholic Church for believing the sun did not revolve around the Earth and that the Earth revolved around the sun instead. This belief was supported by the theory by Nicolaus Copernicus called the “heliocentric theory.” It took another 300 years for the church to admit Galileo was correct.

Galileo died from fever and heart palpitations at age 77. His last words were rumored to have been, “And yet it moves” in reference to the Earth moving around the sun.