The Optical Series:- Galileo
“You cannot teach a man anything: you can only help him find it within himself” - - Galileo
This is the first in a series of 5 caches dedicated to the world of optics, and how their discoveries have changed the world.
Galileo Galilei was an Italian astronomer, physicist, engineer, philosopher and mathematician, who played a major role in the scientific revolution during the renaissance. He was born in 1564, and died in 1642. He has been credited with constructing the first telescope. The first one he developed was a rather simple device using only 2 lenses. The first was held against the eye, and the other moved away until the image was brought into focus. The distance between the lenses depended on the lens powers. Galileo realized that the power of the lenses was not as important as the diameter of the lenses, and larger the diameter of light could be gathered the more the image could be magnified. So bigger lenses became the fashion, and longer tubes, until it reached a stage where they no longer became portable and they needed buildings to house the devices. In 1610 he wrote a book called the starry messenger where he described his astronomical findings and discoveries.
This is an extract from his book showing the first drawings he made of the moon as seen through his telescope.
Galileo had gained fame as the wonder of Europe, as philosophers and scientists marveled at the new vistas opened by Galileo's telescope, and kings and princes clamored to have the Italian astronomer name his ever-increasing discoveries after them. And the discoveries kept coming. In July 1610, the scientist had glimpsed the rings of Saturn–although he mistakenly believed them to prove Saturn's existence as in fact three Planets in a row, rather than a single planet. Then, in December of the same year, he found that Venus, like the moon, went through phases; this provided key evidence for the Copernican system, since it suggested the Venus orbited the sun just as the moon orbited the earth. Galileo began to express openly his support of the Copernican theory that the earth and planets revolved around the sun. This challenged the doctrine of Aristotle and the established order set by the Catholic Church for which he was twice accused of heresy.
In April of 1611, Galileo announced the existence of sunspots, confirming the observations of a German astronomer, Johannes Fabricius, and then, by charting them over a period of months, he concluded that the sun actually also rotated. He also discovered the moons of Jupiter, which were named after him in honor of this discovery
You can now experience what Galileo observed during his first observations using the 2 lenses in the cache. While standing at the position where you found the cache, use your torch to survey your surroundings till you observe a card which has the actual cache co-ordinates, where you will be able to sign the log. You will need to use the 2 lenses as a telescope to see the co-ordinates. We have permission from the property owner, and it is not necessary to enter the property, as they have large dogs. While you are here have a look at the moon to see how Galileo first saw it.