Galileo’s Telescopic Observations
During the very last year of what he himself described “as the best [eighteen] years of his life” spent here at the University of Padua, Galileo first observed the heavens with a telescope. In order to appreciate the marvel and the true significance of those observations, we must appreciate both the intellectual climate in Europe and the critical intellectual period through which Galileo himself was passing at the time those observations were made. Since two other papers (Bellone and Bellinati) will provide you more specifically with a discussion of Galileo’s discovery of the Medicean moons of Jupiter and will orient you as to the daily life of Galileo in this city of Padua, where he spent the most peaceful, and perhaps most productive, years of his life, I will not refer to those matters in detail, but will, of course, attempt to integrate them into my conclusions.
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