Astronomy Packet: 1
All of these different branches of Astronomy began with one man, his name was Galileo. We will talk about him in more detail in the fourth astronomy packet. He was the first person to use a telescope to look at Outer Space. What he saw changed Astronomy forever.
Before Galileo, many people thought the Universe was a glass ball which circled the Earth. They thought that the stars were holes in the glass where light from heaven shined through. Galileo noticed that the stars could not be holes in a glass ball because they were all different distances from the Earth. When he looked at the moon he realized that the moon was not a perfectly round ball as had been thought, but that it had mountains, valleys and craters. When Galileo looked at Jupiter through his telescope he got the biggest surprise of all. He could see four of Jupiter's moons circling the planet. If the Universe was centered on the Earth as most people thought, then why were there moons circling Jupiter? Galileo discovered that the Universe was very different than what most people thought it was. These discoveries got him into a lot of trouble. He was eventually banished from his home. (Kind of like on the television show Survivor).
Since Galileo, there have been many more great astronomers.
Assignment # 2:
Search the Internet, books, or other resources. Find information on three Astronomers. Write a paragraph about each one describing how they helped our understanding of the Universe.
Here is a useful website with a lot of info about astronomers: http://www.allaboutspace.com/subjects/astronomy/glossary/Astronomers.shtml
Write these paragraphs in your own words.