Galileo Galilei was born 445 years ago on February, 15th, 1564. Outstanding Italian astronomer and physicist he came into being in Tuscan Pisa in the noble but poor family. His father Vincenzio Galilei used to be a talented musician and composer although art activity was not profitable and he had to deal in cloths trade.
Young Galileo had spent 11 years in native town and then his family moved to Florence. The boy was sent to the local abbey where he got good education. Some time later at his father’s will Galileo started to take lessons of the famous mathematician Ostilio Ricci. Then at the age of 17 he entered the faculty of medicine at the University of Pisa. There he got acquainted with Copernic’s work „De revolutionibus orbium coelestium“. This work without any doubt influenced on future research of Galileo in the field of astronomy. Young scientist was always interested not only in astronomy but also in mathematics and physics. He succeeded in all these branches. He used to do research in very hard conditions. Religious prejudices of the epoch used to be the stumbling block for scientific research. The inquisition was always after the followers of Copernic. Galileo faced the suppression in June, 23rd, 1633. In the large hall of basilica church Santa Maria sopra Minerva in Rome Galileo Galilei was forced to abdication. Only in 1992 justice was restored and Pope John Paul vindicated the great scientist.
Photo: Klaus Rupp