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The game all got started in 1609 when a number of people in different parts of Europe started to put two glass lenses together in a new way. One lens was concave (depression going into the lens), one convex (domed outward from the lens). If you join the two by a leather tube, you have a simple telescope - a device made by at least 1609 in the Netherlands and likely in several other countries around the same time.
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To celebrate the 400th anniversary of Galileo's telescope, Google has changed its logo.

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Will the truth finally set Galileo free?
No, the Italian astronomer was never imprisoned for his beliefs. A new book exposes this and 24 other falsehoods about science and religion.

The book "Galileo Goes to Jail and Other Myths About Science and Religion" came out of a Harvard conference funded by the Templeton Foundation in the United States.

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Galileo, the Medici and the Age of Astronomy
Galileo's contributions to the progressive development of the telescope, as well as his revolutionary work to create modern scientific methods, make him one of the greatest luminaries in scientific history. The Franklin is proud to have been selected as the world exclusive host for Galileo, the Medici and the Age of Astronomy, a unique exhibition presented by Officine Panerai at The Franklin Institute during 2009.

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And in between, also on the Arno, is the Museum of the History of Science. It's a dry-sounding name and a perfectly apt one, in the judgment of some. But take one look at the Galileo kitsch on display and you'll be hooked, especially by the glass reliquary containing the middle finger of the astronomer's right hand, now a hideous mass of bone and sinew but still capable of giving the finger to the Church after all these years.
The museum has a special Galileo exhibit scheduled to open later this year; still, everything's already on display: the handsome collection of telescopes past, including the brass and glass marvel that astronomer Giovanni Donati used to observe a solar eclipse in 1860 and the vast collection of early wood-and-brass reflecting telescopes scattered throughout the building.

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It is 400 years since the Pisan-born Galileo Galilei found an object being sold as a toy in Venice. It consisted of a long tube with two magnifying lenses, one at either end. The possibilities which Galileo saw in this device led to the development of the telescope, and to accurate sky-gazing for the very first time - and, finally, to his condemnation by the Catholic Church for heresy, and house arrest until the end of his life.

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The result of a survey in the UK has established the fact that most people don't know that Galileo discovered 400 years ago that the Earth orbits the Sun, as well as finding the four moons of Jupiter.
The survey was conducted by the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS), the Institute of Physics (IOP) and the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), to mark the UK launch of the International Year of Astronomy (IYA 2009).

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Italian and British scientists want to exhume the body of 16th-century astronomer Galileo for DNA tests to determine if his severe vision problems may have affected some of his findings.
The scientists told Reuters yesterday that DNA tests would help answer some unresolved questions about the health of the man known as the father of astronomy, whom the Vatican condemned for teaching that the Earth revolves around the sun.

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Astronomers retrace Galileo's discoveries with replica of his 400-year-old telescope
Italian scientists have re-created one of Galileo's scopes in the hope of seeing the universe just as he saw it. (A macabre note to that end: the researchers are apparently seeking to disinter the legendary astronomer to study "the physiology of Galileo's eye.")

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