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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Justin Larremore on Friday August 19, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to history 1060 at University of North Texas taught by Kristin Bocchine in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 26 views. For similar materials see World History 1600 to Present in History at University of North Texas.
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Date Created: 08/19/16
Justin Larremore HNRS 1500 Dr. Major Galileo Paper In Galileo’s The Starry Messenger, he presents the findings of his astronomical research over the course of approximately ten months. He begins with his adaptation of the recently invented telescope for celestial viewing. With his new tool, he stumbled across several major phenomenon and, with the due diligence of a scientist, investigated them thoroughly. Galileo’s essay is his vocalized argument proving the truth and validity of what he had found with meticulous, detailed and welldocumented notes along with sound reasoning. Despite the things that Galileo could be nothing but ignorant of, the majority of his work is irrefutable and his logic makes perfect sense. Galileo first describes in brief what it is he is going to be writing about. He asserts that they are “Great indeed…” and worthy of study. He also makes a special note to mention his telescope and the fact that none of his discoveries would have been made without its aid. Galileo lists the incredible things he has witnessed and states, in short, how important they are to the further progression of science. In his introduction, Galileo lays out the form and structure of his essay so all who read it may understand what it is he is getting towards. This detail is what helps to keep perspective on the scope of his work as he digs into the trenches of his individual arguments. Galileo ordered his paper in such a way that it is reminiscent of Descartes’ method of logical reasoning. He starts with concepts easy to understand and builds on those conclusions to form more complex results. Galileo opens with the explanation of his spyglass/telescope. He describes the inner workings and the technical specifications in order to banish any doubt about Justin Larremore HNRS 1500 Dr. Major the possible failure of his instrument. He remarks on the possibilities of using such a tool for more practical endeavors to legitimize the importance of it to less studious people. Galileo thankfully draws a diagram in order to visually explain his spyglass and also to assist others in the making of one themselves. If completed correctly, then the amateur telescopes should only confirm everything Galileo said of them and their capabilities. Unsurprisingly, the first thing Galileo observed with his newfound device was the moon. Up until this time, everyone believed the moon to be a perfect orb with what some believed to be oceans swirling around. Galileo found, through magnification via the telescope, that the moon was covered in spots. He wrote, “From observations of these spots repeated man times I have been led to the…conviction that the surface of the moon is not smooth, uniform, and precisely spherical…but is uneven, rough, and full of cavities and prominences…” The evidence that he used to support his conclusion was based mainly off of the boundary line between the light and darkened sides of the moon. As the moon orbits the Earth, the sun’s rays strike it at differing angles causing the phases of the moon visible from Earth. Galileo states that if the moon were perfect, then the boundary line would also be perfectly rounded. He discovered that upon closer inspection it was not. Galileo starts to see mountains on the surface of the moon and their peaks are lightened by the sun even though they may be in the shaded portion of the moon. Galileo compared it to mountains and plains on Earth. Along with his detailed descriptions, he also drew no less than five illustrations of his observations to represent to the readers what he saw. An unforeseen benefit of the telescope was the ability to see stars too dim for the human eye to perceive. This unlocked thousands of new celestial objects for astronomers to observe. However, Galileo was puzzled by why they were not magnified in the same way as the moon or Justin Larremore HNRS 1500 Dr. Major terrestrial targets on Earth. He thought through this problem and concluded that the telescope, “…removes from the stars their adventitious and accidental rays, and then it enlarges their simple globes…” Although this claim could not be supported fully with evidence, it did reasonably make sense to Galileo and his audience. Interestingly enough, however, was what such an effect had on revealing the differences between the stars and “wanderers” or planets. The planets were lighted wholly and appeared as spheres, while the fixed stars appeared more as candles of fire in the sky. Galileo also noticed that the Milky Way galaxy was not just a cloud of aether, but rather a large collection of stars in masses distributed throughout the sky unevenly. Galileo drew four depictions of different labeled nebulas which was the seventeenthcentury equivalent of a photograph to prove his claims. This coupled with the availability of a telescope made it possible for others to verify the findings. Perhaps the most controversial of Galileo’s discoveries was the four “Medicean stars”, later on known as Jupiter’s moons. Galileo was looking through his telescope at the planet Jupiter when he noticed three other bodies in a straight EastWest line with the planet. The next night, the three bodies were all positioned in a line on the West side of Jupiter. At first, Galileo assumed that it must be Jupiter moving, but after four nights of watching and charting Jupiter’s usual course, Galileo found that it was the opposite. Galileo compared their revolving around Jupiter to Venus and Mercury’s revolutions around the Sun. For two months Galileo tracked the movements of these unusual stars around Jupiter, noting their distance, position, and rate of change relative to a fixed star. In the process of this, a fourth star was found and likewise recorded. Through his accurate distance measurements, Galileo found that the four never moved more than a certain distance away from Jupiter and established that there was a particular order Justin Larremore HNRS 1500 Dr. Major to their motion. All of his notations on Jupiter’s stars have their distances stated so that, again, anyone who would care to may also observe their movements across the heavens. Galileo made a lot of assertions, but his conclusions were backed up by his copious and detailed notes. He proceeded methodically and slowly. Every observation and bit of data were but blocks for him to build his manor with. He created a way to accurately measure distance and size from a telescope, then he used that technique to track Jupiter’s moons. He looked at the moon’s surface and compared it to Earthly examples in order to prove its uneven shape. Galileo did not have photographic evidence, but he charted everything he saw and made it possible for countless others to corroborate his findings themselves. He coupled observation with deliberate, logical thought processes to draw connections between various concepts that related to what he was looking at. It was the ability to make those connections that allowed Galileo to prove what he knew to be true to an audience that, for the most part, did not want to believe him.
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