Aug 26, 2009 | 5
As commemorated by the International Year of Astronomy and observed elsewhere on this site, 2009 marks the 400th anniversary of the year that astronomer Galileo Galilei began fashioning his own telescopes and turning them to the heavens. Before long, he started to characterize the surface of the moon, discovered a quartet of Jupiter's moons, and began to revolutionize our view of Earth's place in the universe.
Four hundred years ago this week, Galileo reached a milestone along this journey, presenting his telescope to the Senate in Venice on August 25, 1609. The senators were duly impressed, according to historical accounts, doubling the astronomer's salary and making his university appointment a lifelong one.
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