Far-sighted Scientist

On 25 August 1609, Galileo Galilei demonstrated his telescope to the authorities in Venice. They were impressed, since the device was obviously useful for both defence and navigation, and rewarded Galileo for his work.

The telescope had actually been invented in the Netherlands a few years earlier, but Galileo worked out the underlying science and built better telescopes. The above sculpture is on Galileo’s tomb in the church of Santa Croce in Florence.

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