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Galileo was born at Pisa, on 18th February, He was the eldest son of Vincenzo de Bonajuti de Galilei, a Florentine noble. Notwithstanding his illustrious birth and descent, it would seem that the home in which the great philosopher's childhood was spent was an impoverished one. It was obvious at least that the young Galileo would have to be provided with some profession by which he might earn a livelihood. From his father he derived both by inheritance and by precept a keen taste for music, and it appears that he became an excellent performer on the lute.

He was also endowed with considerable artistic power, which he cultivated diligently. Indeed, it would seem that for some time the future astronomer entertained the idea of devoting himself to painting as a profession. His father, however, decided that he should study medicine. Accordingly, we find that when Galileo was seventeen years of age, and had added a knowledge of Greek and Latin to his acquaintance with the fine arts, he was duly entered at the University of Pisa. Galileo's Daughter. Dava Sobel. A More Perfect Heaven.

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As a teenager, he mastered parts of Newton's Principia and studied Laplace's celestial mechanics treatise. When barely 22, Hamilton became a professor of astronomy at University of Dublin, however he was more interested in theoretical rather than practical astronomy.

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Great Astronomers Nicolaus Copernicus. Great Astronomers: Johannes Kepler. Great Astronomers: William Rowan Hamilton. Great Astronomers: Tycho Brahe. Great Astronomers: Galileo Galilei. Great Astronomers: Pierre-Simon Laplace. Great Astronomers: John Flamsteed. Great Astronomers: William Herschel. Great Astronomers: James Bradley. How to write a great review.

Great Astronomers by Robert S. Ball

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