Galileo Galilei, was an Italian philosopher and astronomer. His many contributions to science include describing inertia and determining the strength of materials. Galileo made improvements to the telescope, enabling him to discover the four biggest moons of Jupiter and the rings of Saturn. He also pioneered the use of the scientific method.
New Theories Opposed
Galileo studied and wrote about Copernicus’ theory that the planets revolve around the sun. At that time the Roman Catholic Church, which had a role in government, felt anyone who believed this theory was committing the crime of heresy. The Church held fast to the old theory that the sun revolved around the earth. As a result, Galileo was convicted of a “strong suspicion of heresy”, his book was banned and he spent the remainder of his life under house arrest.