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Himmels-Kunde für das Volk (Astronomy for the People) by Camille Flammarion
Himmels-Kunde für das Volk
(Astronomy for the People
Camille Flammarion

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Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) was an Italian astronomer, as well as a physicist, a mathematician, and a genuine genius. He is a pioneer of modern scientific thought, and the brilliant mind behind many foundations of mathematics and astronomy still studied today. Using the basic initial design of Dutch lensmaker Hans Lippershey, Galilei improved upon the telescope, first achieving 3x magnification, and later up to 30x magnification. It was 400 years ago, in 1610, when Galilei turned his telescope to the heavens to discover that the Moon was not the smooth, uniform orb previously believed, but rather covered in craters and mountains, with irregular surface.

As well, he discovered satellites around Jupiter (the four largest, now known as the Galilean Satellites). After further investigation, Galilei staunchly defended the Copernican school of thought, and heliocentric thesis (which emphasizes the Sun as the center of the universe), while the Church continued to support and preach geocentrism (which maintains that the center of the universe is Earth).  Despite research and supporting evidence, Galilei was met with devout opposition and criticism when attempting to present his findings.

Undaunted by the resistance, Galilei published his paper Sidereus Nuncius (Starry Messenger) , which turned the idea of Earth as the universe's center on its axis. Four centuries later, high school students everywhere still learn the basics of astronomy thanks to Galilei's discoveries.

Want to know more about the works of Galileo Galilei, and other students of the sky? Check out our selection below.

Please note: Quantity on rare books extremely limited; copies on display may sell quickly.

By Galileo Galilei:

Dialogo di Galileo Galilei Linceo matematico sopra i due massimi sistemi del mondo Tolemaico e Copernico
Dialogo sopra i due massimi sistemi del mondo Tolemaico e Copernico (sold)
Galileo Galilei, 1710

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Opere by Galileo Galilei
Galileo Galilei, 1718

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Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems by Galileo Galilei
Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems
Galileo Galilei, 1953
With a foreword by Albert Einstein

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About Galileo Galilei:

The Crime of Galileo by Giorgio de Santillana
The Crime of Galileo
Giorgio de Santillana

Galileo by Bertolt Brecht
Bertolt Brecht

Galileo Heretic by Pietro Redondi
Galileo Heretic
Pietro Redondi
Galileo's Daughter: A Historical Memoir of Science, Faith, and Love by Dava Sobel
Galileo's Daughter
Dava Sobel

AN ATLAS OF ASTRONOMY. A series of seventy-two plates. With introduction and index. by Robert Stawell Ball
An Atlas of Astronomy
Robert Stawell Ball

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Star-Land Being Talks with Young People About the Wonders of the Heavens Illustrated.  by Robert Stawell Ball
Robert Stawell Ball

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Lepus by Johann Bayer

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Cosmographia: Petri Apianus
Petrus Apianus

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THE TELESCOPE: a familiar sketch combining a special notice of objects coming within the range of a small telescope, with a detail of the most interesting discoveries which have been made with the assistance of powerful telescopes, concerning the phenomena of the heavenly bodies.
The Telescope
The Hon. Mrs. Ward

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Evolution of Darwin's Origin of Species