Italian American Digest DIGEST Fall 2017 FINAL (1) - Page 14

I talian A merican D igest PAGE 14 FALL 2017 Galileo Galilei: Scientific Genius and ‘Heretic’ W by Maria J. Falco, Ph.D hen Galileo looked through his newly expanded telescope in 1609, he stared at the heavens and discovered many things never seen before. He published his findings about the craters on the moon and several planets (Jupiter and Venus, etc.) in a small booklet called “The Starry Messenger” (“Siderius Nun- cio”) in 1610. In 1613 and 1615, he made observations that supported the Copernican heliocentric theory that Earth revolved around the sun and not, as Ptolemy and Aristotle had declared, vice versa. In other words, Earth was not the center of the uni- verse, as had been prescribed in the Old Testament and by many Chris- tian religious figures including St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aqui