Crescent Moon and The Galilean Moons

Crescent Jupiter Clouds PROCESSEWD22Last Thursday evening as the sky darkened the celestial conjunction of the crescent Moon and Jupiter gradually became illuminated.  I pushed the exposure to pull out the detail moon’s aspect hidden from the sunlight and to draw out the faint moons of Jupiter.

 

In the bottom left you can see Jupiter with four of the Galilean moons. The two small dots to the right of Jupiter are the moons Ganymede and Callisto, and to the left are the two moons Europa and Io. These two on the right are too close to be resolved by my camera, hence only three dots are visible.

 

In 1609 Galileo was able to observe these moons due improvements he made to the telescope. It was this sight which began the dismantling of the millennia-old geocentric world view, that the Earth and humans are the center of the universe and everything revolves around the Earth.

 

This was the first time is could be started irrefutably that not everything revolves around the Earth. This was an extremely bold statement for the era and the beginning of his notion that the Earth orbited the sun and not the opposite.

 

This was a profound shake up of the current world view and cosmology, one that brought into question the validity of almost everything believed about humans position in the cosmos and the religion

 

It was this scientific discovery that eventually placed him in prison for heresy, where he eventually died under house arrest.

 

Galileo’s life of study was ultimately one of rebellion, a life scientists need to continually look to for guidance and to emulate regardless of the cultural or political climate.

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