Sunday—Have a Sunny Week!

Celebrating the life of Galileo Galilei_ born 15 February 1564 in Pisa, Duchy of Florence, Italy

22 October 2014_Source: NASA/Solar Dynamics Observatory/LMSAL

The Father of Modern Science
Things did not end well for the Father of Modern Science.  At the age of 51, he was summoned to Rome under the Inquisition for his published belief that the earth revolved around the sun.

A 51-year old who would not keep his mouth shut and was unafraid to stand up for his beliefs.   Imagine that.

As a scientist and an academic, Galileo was forced to defend his Copernican viewpoint against accusations that heliocentrism—the theory that the earth and planets revolve around the sun which is at the center of the solar system—was a direct contradiction to biblical scriptures which clearly stated that the earth did not move.

In 1615, his writings were submitted to the Roman Inquisition, and a year later, he was ordered by Pope Paul V "not to hold, teach, or defend it in any way whatever, either orally or in writing."

Sixteen years later following the publication of his book, Galileo was again interrogated by the Florentine Inquisitor and found "vehemently suspect of heresy" for defending an opinion that had previously been declared contrary to Holy Scripture.

He was ordered to "adjure, curse and detest" his heliocentric views and was placed under house arrest for the rest of his life.  His book, Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, was banned forever along with the publication of any past or future writings.

And Yet It Moves
Whether he actually said it or not, it is on record that he muttered, "Eppur si muove," (And yet it moves), after he was forced to recant.

As a condition of his house arrest, he was ordered to read the seven penitential psalms (psalms of confession and sorrow for sin) once a week for the next three years.  His dutiful daughter, Maria Celeste, obtained ecclesiastical permission to take this obligation upon herself in order to relieve her defiant father of this chore.

Still Moving
On January 19, 2015, four telescopes gathering images every 12 seconds on an observatory in orbit around our planet captured the 100 millionth image of the sun.

400 years after Galileo was labeled a heretic, we are still looking through telescopes at this dazzling and beautiful star.


Composite photo of Venus as it travels across the face of the sun
Credit: NASA/Solar Dynamics Observatory/LMSAL

Coronal loops

Giant magnetic fields soaring through the sun_Coronal Loops
Credit: NASA/Solar Dynamics Observatory/LMSAL

Lunar Eclipse

Telescopic proof that Galileo was right: The surface of the moon is uneven.  You can see the outline of lunar mountains in the lower left corner of the photo.  November 22, 2014.
The shadow of the moon partially blocking the sun during a lunar eclipse

Click HERE to see more amazing pix

Have a Starry Messenger Week!

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