Historical Astronomers in Context


Galileo was extremely crucial to astronomy for many reasons. First of all, he was one of the first astronomers to fully utilize telescopes to observe the sky. As a result, his findings were based completely on his nightly observations – in a time where accepted published works were based largely on conjecture.

Important historical events during Galileo’s life:

  • 1596 – Tycho Brahe begins working for the emperor of Prague and enlists Kepler to help him.
  • 1599 – the Globe theater is built in London; this was the venue in which most of Shakespeare’s plays were first performed.

Notable people alive during Galileo’s life:

William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
Shakespeare’s works revolutionized the world of expressive art and was a major part of the Renaissance movement. His contributions to art and culture allowed for the increased sharing of ideas amongst people at the time.

I think it’s interesting to compare the lifetimes of these astronomers and to see how different their worlds were, and even how they could have influenced one another. Especially at a time where art, science, and culture were advancing at such a high rate, looking at this history can show just how much they could have affected one another. Even more impressive to me, it shows how much these astronomers were able to discover in such a short amount of time with such limited resources compared to today’s technology.

Galileo’s life
historical events

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