February 15, 1564 – January 8, 1642
Galileo Galilei was an Italian astronomer who played a major role in the scientific revolution. His achievements include the first systematic studies of uniformly accelerated motion, improvements to the telescope and consequent astronomical observations, and support for Copernicanism. Galileo's empirical work was a significant break from the abstract Aristotelian approach of his time.
It is Galileo's first use of a telescope in 1609 that inspired the International Year of Astronomy in 2009.