Galileo Galilei

Born: 1564 – Died: 1642

Nationality: Italian

In 1609, Galileo Galilei heard of the ‘Dutch perspective glass” and within days had designed one of his own, without ever seeing one!. He made some improvements so he could magnify objects by 20 times and presented his device to the Venetian Senate. The Senate in turn set him up for life as a lecturer at the University of Padua and doubled his salary!

However, it was Galileo’s inquisitive mind that set him on another path for the telescope, one that would eventually change the way humanity viewed the heavens. He turned the telescope skyward! In doing so he revealed craters on the moon, saw mountains and oceans. He also described the moons of Jupiter and even observed sunspots.