Galileo Galilei - Timeline


  • 1543 – Nicolaus Copernicus publishes De revolutionibus orbium coelestium as an alternative world system to the Ptolemy's geocentric model causing subsequent questions to be raised about Aristotelian physics following Copernicus' death
  • 1563 – Parents Vincenzo Galilei and Giulia Ammannati marry
  • 1564 – Birth in Pisa, Italy
  • ~1570 – Thomas Digges publishes Pantometria describing a telescope built between 1540–1559 by his father Leonard Digges
  • 1573 – Tycho Brahe publishes De nova stella (On the new star) refuting Aristotelian belief in immutable celestial spheres and an eternal, unchanging, more perfect heavenly realm of celestial aether above the moon
  • 1576 – Giuseppe Moletti Galileo's predecessor in the mathematics chair at Padua, reports falling bodies of the same shape fall at the same speed, regardless of material
  • 1581 – His father, Vincenzo Galilei publishes Dialogo della musica antica et moderna formulating musical theories
  • 1581 – Enrols as medical student at University of Pisa
  • 1582 – Attends mathematics lecture by Ostilio Ricci and decides to study math and science
  • 1585 – Leaves University of Pisa without degree and works as tutor
  • 1586 – Invents hydrostatic balance; wrote La Balancitta (The little balance)
  • 1586 – Simon Stevin publishes results for dropping lead weights from 10 meters
  • 1588 – Tycho Brahe publishes work on comets containing a description of the Tychonic system of the world
  • 1589 – Appointed to Mathematics Chair, University of Pisa
  • 1590 – Partially completes De Motu (On Motion), which is never published
  • 1591 – Death of his father, Vicenzo Galilei
  • 1592 – Appointed professor of mathematics at University of Padua, remains 18 years
  • ~1593 – Invents early thermometer that unfortunately depended on both temperature and pressure
  • ~1595 – Invents improved ballistics calculation geometric and military compass, which he later improves for surveying and general calculations and earns income from tutoring on its use
  • 1597 – Letter to Kepler indicates his belief in the Copernican System
  • 1600 – First child, Virginia is born; ~1600 Le Meccaniche (Mechanics)
  • 1600 – William Gilbert publishes On the Magnet and Magnetic Bodies, and on That Great Magnet the Earth with arguments supporting the Copernican system
  • 1600 – Roman Inquisition finds Giordano Bruno, Copernican system supporter, guilty of heresy for opinions on pantheism and the eternal plurality of worlds, and for denial of the Trinity, divinity of Christ, virginity of Mary, and Transubstantiation; burned at the stake by civil authorities
  • 1601 – Daughter Livia is born
  • 1604 – Measures supernova position indicating no parallax for the new star
  • 1605 – Sued by brothers-in-law for nonpayment of sisters' dowries
  • 1606 – Son Vincenzo born
  • 1606 – Publishes manual for his calculating compass
  • 1607 – Rotilio Orlandini attempts to assassinate Galileo's friend, Friar Paolo Sarpi
  • 1608 – Hans Lippershey invents a refracting telescope
  • 1609 – Independently invents and improves telescopes based on description of invention by Hans Lippershey
  • 1609 – Kepler publishes Astronomia nova containing his first two laws and for the first time demonstrates the Copernican model is more accurate than the Ptolemaic for uses such as navigation and prediction
  • 1609 – Thomas Harriot sketches the Moon from telescopic observations made four months before Galileo's
  • 1610 – Publishes Sidereus Nuncius (Starry Messenger); views our moon's mountains and craters and brightest 4 of Jupiter's moons
  • 1610 - Martin Horky publishes Brevissima Peregrinatio Contra Nuncium Sidereum, opposing Galileo
  • 1610 – Kepler requests one of Galileo's telescopes or lenses, but Galileo replies he is too busy to build one and has no extras
  • 1610 – Lifetime appointment to mathematics position at University of Padua, and as mathematician and philosopher for Cosimo II, Grand Duke of Tuscany
  • 1611 – Discovers phases of Venus; granted audience with Pope; made member of Lincean Academy
  • 1611 – David Fabricius publishes Narration on Spots Observed on the Sun and their Apparent Rotation with the Sun prior to Christoph Scheiner and Galileo's published works on the subject
  • 1612 – Proposed Jupiter's moons could be used as a universal clock for possible determination of longitude
  • ~1612 or 1613 – Francesco Sizzi discovers annual variations in sunspots' motions
  • 1613 – Letters on Sunspots
  • 1615 – Letter to Grand Duchess Christina (not published until 1636)
  • 1616 – Officially warned by the Church not to hold or defend the Copernican System
  • 1616 – The Catholic Church places De revolutionibus orbium coelestium on the List of Prohibited Books
  • 1616 – Private letter Discourse on the Tides
  • 1617 – Moves into Bellosguardo, west of Florence, near his daughters' convent; observes double star Mizar in Ursa Major
  • 1619 – Kepler publishes Harmonices Mundi which introduces his third law
  • 1619 – Discourse on the Comets
  • 1621 – Maffeo Barberini becomes Pope Urban VIII
  • 1623 – Publishes The Assayer
  • 1624 – Visits Pope who praises and honours him, leaving with assumed permission to publish work on the Copernican vs. Ptolemaic Systems; used a compound microscope
  • 1625 – Illustrations of insects made using one of Galileo's microscopes published
  • 1630 – Completes Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems and subsequently receives approval of Church censor
  • 1632 – Publishes Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems
  • 1633 – sentenced by the Inquisition to imprisonment, commuted to house arrest, for vehement suspicion of heresy
  • 1633 – Catholic Church places Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems on the List of Prohibited Books
  • 1638 – Publishes Dialogues Concerning Two New Sciences
  • 1642 – death in Arcetri, Italy
  • 1668 – Newton builds his reflecting telescope
  • 1687 – Isaac Newton publishes Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica deriving Kepler's laws from the Universal Law of Gravitation and the Laws of Motion, uniting the heavens and earth under the same natural laws

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