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Galileo's Telescope
The Instrument that Changed the World

Istituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza
4 March- 31 December 2008 - Extended until 31 January 2009

Il telescopio di Galileo

In the summer of 1609 Galileo Galilei received news that some Dutch opticians had developed a curious optical instrument: a tube provided with lenses at both ends, which made distant objects observed through it appear to be closer. As soon as he had been informed of the structural details, Galileo dedicated himself to perfecting the instrument. In a few months he managed to increase their magnifying power. It was then, toward autumn of 1609, that Galileo accomplished a truly extraordinary feat. Urged on by scientific curiosity, he turned his own perfected instrument toward the sky. The known stars and planets revealed unexpected physiognomies, and new heavenly bodies were added to those of the old Ptolemaic Cosmos. Galileo immediately realized the inestimable value of his telescopic discoveries and the fact that they constituted new observation points for promoting the Copernican doctrine of the Earth's rotation around the Sun.

Now, 400 years later, the Istituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza holds an exhibition on Galileo's telescope and the observations he made with it. The displays will consist of rare and precious instruments (among them the objective and the only two existing telescopes by Galileo), manuscripts and ancient books. Comprehension of optical and astronomical principles will be facilitated by interactive exhibits and multimedia. Visitors will have the opportunity to experience through their own eyes the extraordinary Galileo's experience.

Promoting institutions

Istituto e Museo
di Storia della Scienza
logo MIUR
dell'Università e della Ricerca
logo Regione Toscana
logo Ente Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze

Under the patronship of

logo Provincia di Firenze
logo Comitato Nazionale per le Celebrazioni Galileiane

With the collaboration of

logo Provincia di Firenze
Renato Giunti
logo Comitato Nazionale per le Celebrazioni Galileiane

Exhibition scientific project
Istituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza

With the collaboration of
Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare di Firenze
Istituto Nazionale di Ottica Applicata
Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri
Stazione Sperimentale del Vetro, Murano

Scientific coordination and curatorship: Giorgio Strano

Scientific committee: Filippo Camerota, Paolo Del Santo, Sven Dupré, Paolo Galluzzi, Pier Andrea Mandò, Giuseppe Molesini, Francesco Palla, Albert Van Helden, Marco Verità

Tel. +39 055 265311



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