Galileo's telescope visiting Philadelphia this weekend

    One of Galileo’s two remaining telescopes has come to The Franklin in Philadelphia. It’s the first time the artifact has traveled overseas from its home in Florence, Italy. The exhibit – Galileo, the Medici, and the Age of Astronomy – opens Saturday at The Franklin. It kicks off the International Year of Astronomy, a yearlong series of events celebrating 400 years of exploring the skies above us.

    One of Galileo’s two remaining telescopes has come to The Franklin in Philadelphia. It’s the first time the artifact has traveled overseas from its home in Florence, Italy. The exhibit – Galileo, the Medici, and the Age of Astronomy – opens Saturday at The Franklin. It kicks off the International Year of Astronomy, a yearlong series of events celebrating 400 years of exploring the skies above us.

    Transcript:
    More than half a century before Galileo made his astronomical discoveries in 1609, Copernicus hypothesized that the sun, not the earth, was the center of the universe.  But it took Galileo and his telescopes to back up that claim with evidence.

    Paolo Galluzzi is Director of the Institute and Museum of the History of Science in Florence, which is loaning the telescopes to The Franklin. He says Galileo’s observations of Jupiter’s four moons were a breakthrough.

    Galluzzi: “He displayed for the first time that not all of the celestial bodies were looking at the Earth as the center.  The four moons were looking at Jupiter as the center, so that is in favor of Copernicus.”

    The exhibit contains dozens of other artifacts created or used by Galileo and the Medici, the powerful Florence family who were well known patrons of the arts and sciences.

    Listen:
    Click on the play button below or right click on this link and choose “Save Link As” to download.

    [audio: sci20090402galileo.mp3]

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.