Galileo


Galileo
/gal'euh lay"oh, -lee"oh/; for 1 also It. /gah'lee le"aw/, n.
1. (Galileo Galilei), 1564-1642, Italian physicist and astronomer.
2. Aerospace. a U.S. space probe designed to take photographs and obtain other scientific information while orbiting the planet Jupiter.

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NASA mission to study Jupiter and its Galilean satellites with an orbiting spacecraft and an atmospheric probe, launched in 1989.

Though the failure of its high-gain antenna resulted in its data being transmitted back to Earth very slowly, the mission returned a wealth of valuable information. En route to Jupiter, the craft took the first detailed images of two asteroids. On its arrival in 1995, its atmospheric probe descended by parachute into Jupiter's upper cloud layers, detecting large thunderstorms. In a series of flybys of the Galilean moons, the orbiter observed volcanoes on Io hotter than any on Earth and found evidence of a liquid ocean below Europa's icy surface, a magnetic field around Ganymede, and a possible subsurface ocean on Callisto.

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▪ Italian philosopher, astronomer and mathematician
Introduction
in full  Galileo Galilei 
born Feb. 15, 1564, Pisa [Italy]
died Jan. 8, 1642, Arcetri, near Florence

      Italian natural philosopher, astronomer, and mathematician who made fundamental contributions to the sciences of motion, astronomy, and strength of materials and to the development of the scientific method. His formulation of (circular) inertia, the law of falling bodies, and parabolic trajectories marked the beginning of a fundamental change in the study of motion. His insistence that the book of nature was written in the language of mathematics changed natural philosophy from a verbal, qualitative account to a mathematical one in which experimentation became a recognized method for discovering the facts of nature. Finally, his discoveries with the telescope revolutionized astronomy and paved the way for the acceptance of the Copernican heliocentric system, but his advocacy of that system eventually resulted in an Inquisition process against him.

Early life and career
      Galileo was born in Pisa, Tuscany, on February 15, 1564, the oldest son of Vincenzo Galilei (Galilei, Vincenzo), a musician who made important contributions to the theory and practice of music and who may have performed some experiments with Galileo in 1588–89 on the relationship between pitch and the tension of strings. The family moved to Florence in the early 1570s, where the Galilei family had lived for generations. In his middle teens Galileo attended the monastery school at Vallombrosa, near Florence, and then in 1581 matriculated at the University of Pisa, where he was to study medicine. However, he became enamoured with mathematics and decided to make the mathematical subjects and philosophy his profession, against the protests of his father. Galileo then began to prepare himself to teach Aristotelian philosophy (science, history of) and mathematics, and several of his lectures have survived. In 1585 Galileo left the university without having obtained a degree, and for several years he gave private lessons in the mathematical subjects in Florence and Siena. During this period he designed a new form of hydrostatic balance for weighing small quantities and wrote a short treatise, La bilancetta (“The Little Balance”), that circulated in manuscript form. He also began his studies on motion, which he pursued steadily for the next two decades.

      In 1588 Galileo applied for the chair of mathematics at the University of Bologna but was unsuccessful. His reputation was, however, increasing, and later that year he was asked to deliver two lectures to the Florentine Academy, a prestigious literary group, on the arrangement of the world in Dante's Inferno. He also found some ingenious theorems on centres of gravity (again, circulated in manuscript) that brought him recognition among mathematicians and the patronage of Guidobaldo del Monte (1545–1607), a nobleman and author of several important works on mechanics. As a result, he obtained the chair of mathematics at the University of Pisa in 1589. There, according to his first biographer, Vincenzo Viviani (1622–1703), Galileo demonstrated, by dropping bodies of different weights from the top of the famous Leaning Tower (Leaning Tower of Pisa), that the speed of fall of a heavy object is not proportional to its weight, as Aristotle had claimed. The manuscript tract De motu (On Motion), finished during this period, shows that Galileo was abandoning Aristotelian (Aristotelianism) notions about motion and was instead taking an Archimedean approach to the problem. But his attacks on Aristotle made him unpopular with his colleagues, and in 1592 his contract was not renewed. His patrons, however, secured him the chair of mathematics at the University of Padua, where he taught from 1592 until 1610.

      Although Galileo's salary was considerably higher there, his responsibilities as the head of the family (his father had died in 1591) meant that he was chronically pressed for money. His university salary could not cover all his expenses, and he therefore took in well-to-do boarding students whom he tutored privately in such subjects as fortification. He also sold a proportional compass, or sector, of his own devising, made by an artisan whom he employed in his house. Perhaps because of these financial problems, he did not marry, but he did have an arrangement with a Venetian woman, Marina Gamba, who bore him two daughters and a son. In the midst of his busy life he continued his research on motion, and by 1609 he had determined that the distance fallen by a body is proportional to the square of the elapsed time (the law of falling bodies) and that the trajectory of a projectile is a parabola, both conclusions that contradicted Aristotelian physics.

Telescopic discoveries (telescope)
   At this point, however, Galileo's career took a dramatic turn. In the spring of 1609 he heard that in the Netherlands an instrument had been invented that showed distant things as though they were nearby. By trial and error, he quickly figured out the secret of the invention and made his own three-powered spyglass from lenses for sale in spectacle makers' shops. Others had done the same; what set Galileo apart was that he quickly figured out how to improve the instrument, taught himself the art of lens grinding, and produced increasingly powerful telescopes. In August of that year he presented an eight-powered instrument to the Venetian Senate (Padua was in the Venetian Republic). He was rewarded with life tenure and a doubling of his salary. Galileo was now one of the highest-paid professors at the university. In the fall of 1609 Galileo began observing the heavens with instruments that magnified up to 20 times. In December he drew the Moon's (Moon) phases as seen through the telescope, showing that the Moon's surface is not smooth, as had been thought, but is rough and uneven. In January 1610 he discovered four moons revolving around Jupiter. He also found that the telescope showed many more stars than are visible with the naked eye. These discoveries were earthshaking, and Galileo quickly produced a little book, Sidereus Nuncius (The Sidereal Messenger), in which he described them. He dedicated the book to Cosimo II de Medici (Cosimo II) (1590–1621), the grand duke of his native Tuscany, whom he had tutored in mathematics for several summers, and he named the moons of Jupiter after the Medici family: the Sidera Medicea, or “Medicean Stars.” Galileo was rewarded with an appointment as mathematician and philosopher of the grand duke of Tuscany, and in the fall of 1610 he returned in triumph to his native land.

 Galileo was now a courtier and lived the life of a gentleman. Before he left Padua he had discovered the puzzling appearance of Saturn, later to be shown as caused by a ring surrounding it, and in Florence he discovered that Venus goes through phases just as the Moon does. Although these discoveries did not prove that the Earth is a planet orbiting the Sun, they undermined Aristotelian cosmology: the absolute difference between the corrupt earthly region and the perfect and unchanging heavens was proved wrong by the mountainous surface of the Moon, the moons of Jupiter showed that there had to be more than one centre of motion in the universe, and the phases of Venus showed that it (and, by implication, Mercury) revolves around the Sun. As a result, Galileo was confirmed in his belief, which he had probably held for decades but which had not been central to his studies, that the Sun is the centre of the universe and that the Earth is a planet, as Copernicus (Copernicus, Nicolaus) had argued. Galileo's conversion to Copernicanism would be a key turning point in the scientific revolution. (science, history of)

      After a brief controversy about floating bodies, Galileo again turned his attention to the heavens and entered a debate with Christoph Scheiner (1573–1650), a German Jesuit and professor of mathematics at Ingolstadt, about the nature of sunspots (sunspot) (of which Galileo was an independent discoverer). This controversy resulted in Galileo's Istoria e dimostrazioni intorno alle macchie solari e loro accidenti (“History and Demonstrations Concerning Sunspots and Their Properties,” or “Letters on Sunspots”), which appeared in 1613. Against Scheiner, who, in an effort to save the perfection of the Sun, argued that sunspots are satellites of the Sun, Galileo argued that the spots are on or near the Sun's surface, and he bolstered his argument with a series of detailed engravings of his observations.

Galileo's Copernicanism (Copernican system)
      Galileo's increasingly overt Copernicanism began to cause trouble for him. In 1613 he wrote a letter to his student Benedetto Castelli (1528–1643) in Pisa about the problem of squaring the Copernican theory with certain biblical passages. Inaccurate copies of this letter were sent by Galileo's enemies to the inquisition in Rome, and he had to retrieve the letter and send an accurate copy. Several Dominican fathers in Florence lodged complaints against Galileo in Rome, and Galileo went to Rome to defend the Copernican cause and his good name. Before leaving, he finished an expanded version of the letter to Castelli, now addressed to the grand duke's mother and good friend of Galileo, the dowager Christina. In his Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina, Galileo discussed the problem of interpreting biblical passages with regard to scientific discoveries but, except for one example, did not actually interpret the Bible. That task had been reserved for approved theologians in the wake of the Council of Trent (Trent, Council of) (1545–63) and the beginning of the Catholic Counter-Reformation. But the tide in Rome was turning against the Copernican theory, and in 1615, when the cleric Paolo Antonio Foscarini (c. 1565–1616) published a book arguing that the Copernican theory did not conflict with scripture, Inquisition consultants examined the question and pronounced the Copernican theory heretical. Foscarini's book was banned, as were some more technical and nontheological works, such as Johannes Kepler's Epitome of Copernican Astronomy. Copernicus's own 1543 book, De revolutionibus orbium coelestium libri vi (“Six Books Concerning the Revolutions of the Heavenly Orbs”), was suspended until corrected. Galileo was not mentioned directly in the decree, but he was admonished by Robert Cardinal Bellarmine (Bellarmine, Saint Robert) (1542–1621) not to “hold or defend” the Copernican theory. An improperly prepared document placed in the Inquisition files at this time states that Galileo was admonished “not to hold, teach, or defend” the Copernican theory “in any way whatever, either orally or in writing.”

      Galileo was thus effectively muzzled on the Copernican issue. Only slowly did he recover from this setback. Through a student, he entered a controversy about the nature of comets occasioned by the appearance of three comets in 1618. After several exchanges, mainly with Orazio Grassi (1583–1654), a professor of mathematics at the Collegio Romano, he finally entered the argument under his own name. Il saggiatore (The Assayer), published in 1623, was a brilliant polemic on physical reality and an exposition of the new scientific method. Galileo here discussed the method of the newly emerging science, arguing:

Philosophy is written in this grand book, the universe, which stands continually open to our gaze. But the book cannot be understood unless one first learns to comprehend the language and read the letters in which it is composed. It is written in the language of mathematics, and its characters are triangles, circles, and other geometric figures without which it is humanly impossible to understand a single word of it.

 He also drew a distinction between the properties of external objects and the sensations they cause in us—i.e., the distinction between primary and secondary qualities. Publication of Il saggiatore came at an auspicious moment, for Maffeo Cardinal Barberini (1568–1644), a friend, admirer, and patron of Galileo for a decade, was named Pope Urban VIII as the book was going to press. Galileo's friends quickly arranged to have it dedicated to the new pope. In 1624 Galileo went to Rome and had six interviews with Urban VIII. Galileo told the pope about his theory of the tides (developed earlier), which he put forward as proof of the annual and diurnal motions of the Earth. The pope gave Galileo permission to write a book about theories of the universe but warned him to treat the Copernican theory only hypothetically. The book, Dialogo sopra i due massimi sistemi del mondo, tolemaico e copernicano (Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, Ptolemaic & Copernican), was finished in 1630, and Galileo sent it to the Roman censor. Because of an outbreak of the plague, communications between Florence and Rome were interrupted, and Galileo asked for the censoring to be done instead in Florence. The Roman censor had a number of serious criticisms of the book and forwarded these to his colleagues in Florence. After writing a preface in which he professed that what followed was written hypothetically, Galileo had little trouble getting the book through the Florentine censors, and it appeared in Florence in 1632.

      In the Dialogue's witty conversation between Salviati (representing Galileo), Sagredo (the intelligent layman), and Simplicio (the dyed-in-the-wool Aristotelian), Galileo gathered together all the arguments (mostly based on his own telescopic discoveries) for the Copernican theory and against the traditional geocentric cosmology. As opposed to Aristotle's, Galileo's approach to cosmology is fundamentally spatial and geometric: the Earth's axis retains its orientation in space as the Earth circles the Sun, and bodies not under a force retain their velocity (although this inertia is ultimately circular). But in giving Simplicio the final word, that God could have made the universe any way he wanted to and still made it appear to us the way it does, he put Pope Urban VIII's favourite argument in the mouth of the person who had been ridiculed throughout the dialogue. The reaction against the book was swift. The pope convened a special commission to examine the book and make recommendations; the commission found that Galileo had not really treated the Copernican theory hypothetically and recommended that a case be brought against him by the inquisition. Galileo was summoned to Rome in 1633. During his first appearance before the Inquisition, he was confronted with the 1616 edict recording that he was forbidden to discuss the Copernican theory. In his defense Galileo produced a letter from Cardinal Bellarmine, by then dead, stating that he was admonished only not to hold or defend the theory. The case was at somewhat of an impasse, and, in what can only be called a plea bargain, Galileo confessed to having overstated his case. He was pronounced to be vehemently suspect of heresy and was condemned to life imprisonment and was made to abjure formally. There is no evidence that at this time he whispered, “Eppur si muove” (“And yet it moves”). It should be noted that Galileo was never in a dungeon or tortured; during the Inquisition process he stayed mostly at the house of the Tuscan ambassador to the Vatican and for a short time in a comfortable apartment in the Inquisition building. (For a note on actions taken by Galileo's defenders and by the church in the centuries since the trial, see BTW: Galileo's condemnation.) After the process he spent six months at the palace of Ascanio Piccolomini (c. 1590–1671), the archbishop of Siena and a friend and patron, and then moved into a villa near Arcetri, in the hills above Florence. He spent the rest of his life there. Galileo's daughter Sister Maria Celeste, who was in a nearby nunnery, was a great comfort to her father until her untimely death in 1634.

      Galileo was then 70 years old. Yet he kept working. In Siena he had begun a new book on the sciences of motion and strength of materials. There he wrote up his unpublished studies that had been interrupted by his interest in the telescope in 1609 and pursued intermittently since. The book was spirited out of Italy and published in Leiden, Netherlands, in 1638 under the title Discorsi e dimostrazioni matematiche intorno a due nuove scienze attenenti alla meccanica (Dialogues Concerning Two New Sciences). Galileo here treated for the first time the bending and breaking of beams and summarized his mathematical and experimental investigations of motion, including the law of falling bodies and the parabolic path of projectiles as a result of the mixing of two motions, constant speed and uniform acceleration. By then Galileo had become blind, and he spent his time working with a young student, Vincenzo Viviani, who was with him when he died on January 8, 1642.

Additional Reading
The standard edition of Galileo's works is Le opere di Galileo Galilei, 20 vol. in 21, ed. by Antonio Favaro (1890–1909, reissued 1968). There are now English editions of all Galileo's works published during his lifetime. Galileo Against the Philosophers in His Dialogue of Cecco di Ronchitti (1605) and Considerations of Alimberto Mauri (1606), trans. by Stillman Drake (1976), contains two early dialogues thought to have been written by Galileo. His defense of the priority of his military compass appears as Operations of the Geometric and Military Compass, 1606, trans. by Stillman Drake (1978). There are several English translations of Sidereus Nuncius (1610): The Sidereal Messenger of Galileo Galilei and a Part of the Preface to Kepler's Dioptrics Containing the Original Account of Galileo's Astronomical Discoveries, trans. by Edward Stafford Carlos (1880, reprinted 1959); Sidereus Nuncius; or, The Sidereal Messenger, trans. by Albert Van Helden (1989); and Stillman Drake, Telescopes, Tides, and Tactics: A Galilean Dialogue About the Starry Messenger and Systems of the World (1983), which contains a complete translation interspersed in the dialogue. Discorso . . . intorno alle cose, che stanno in sù l'acqua, ò che in quella si muovono (1612) appears in English as Discourse on Bodies in Water, trans. by Thomas Salusbury and ed. by Stillman Drake (1960); and is interspersed in a dialogue in Stillman Drake, Cause, Experiment, and Science: A Galilean Dialogue, Incorporating a New English Translation of Galileo's Bodies That Stay Atop Water, or Move in It (1981). Galileo's letter to the grand duchess Christina on the relationship of science to religion, written in 1615, was published in Latin in Strasbourg in 1636 without Galileo's permission; English translations are “Letter to Madame Christina . . . ,” in Discoveries and Opinions of Galileo, trans. by Stillman Drake (1957, reissued 1990), pp. 175–216, which also includes abridged translations of Sidereus Nuncius, the letters on sunspots (Istoria e dimostrazioni intorno alle macchie solari e loro accidenti, 1613), and Il saggiatore; and “Galileo's Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina (1615),” in Maurice A. Finocchiaro (ed. and trans.), The Galileo Affair: A Documentary History (1989), pp. 87–118, which also includes the translated documents of Galileo's trial. A translation of Il saggiatore (1623) is “The Assayer,” in The Controversy on the Comets of 1618, trans. by Stillman Drake and C.D. O'Malley (1960), pp. 151–336. The standard translation of Dialogo sopra i due massimi sistemi del mondo tolemaico, e copernicano (1632) is Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, Ptolemaic & Copernican, trans. by Stillman Drake, 2nd ed. (1967). Galileo's Discorsi e dimostrazioni matematiche, intorno à due nuove scienze . . . (1638) appears as Dialogues Concerning Two New Sciences, trans. by Henry Crew and Alfonso de Salvio (1914, reissued 1968); and Two New Sciences, trans. by Stillman Drake, rev. ed. (1989).Of Galileo's works that remained unpublished during his lifetime, a number have been published in English translation. The early tracts on Aristotelian philosophy and scientific method are published and commented on in William A. Wallace, Galileo and His Sources: The Heritage of the Collegio Romano in Galileo's Science (1984), and Galileo's Logic of Discovery and Proof: The Background, Content, and Use of His Appropriated Treatises on Aristotle's Posterior Analytics (1992); and in William A. Wallace (trans.), Galileo's Early Notebooks: The Physical Questions (1977), and Galileo's Logical Treatises: A Translation, with Notes and Commentary, of His Appropriated Latin Questions on Aristotle's Posterior Analytics (1992). The early notebooks on motion have been published as On Motion, and On Mechanics, trans. by I.E. Drabkin and Stillman Drake (1960); and selections appear in Mechanics in Sixteenth-Century Italy, trans. by Stillman Drake and I.E. Drabkin (1969). Galileo's cryptic notes on his experiments on motion contained in vol. 72 of the Galileo manuscripts but not published in the Opere have been published in facsimile: Galileo's Notes on Motion, arranged by Stillman Drake (1979). The correspondence between Galileo and one of his daughters is available in Mary Allan-Olney (compiler), The Private Life of Galileo: Compiled Principally from his Correspondence and That of His Eldest Daughter, Sister Maria Celeste (1870).Several biographies of Galileo have been written by Stillman Drake: Galileo at Work: His Scientific Biography (1978, reissued 1995), Galileo: Pioneer Scientist (1990), and Galileo (1980). James Reston, Jr., Galileo (1994), is a well-documented popular biography. Portraits and other depictions of Galileo can be found in J.J. Fahie, Memorials of Galileo Galilei, 1564–1642 (1929).Studies of various aspects of Galileo's life and career include Lane Cooper, Aristotle, Galileo, and the Tower of Pisa (1935, reissued 1972); Erwin Panofsky, Galileo as a Critic of the Arts (1954); Pasquale M. d'Elia, Galileo in China: Relations Through the Roman College Between Galileo and the Jesuit Scientist-Missionaries (1610–1640) (1960; originally published in Italian, 1947); Antonio Favaro, Galileo Galilei e lo studio di Padova, 2 vol. (1883, reissued 1966), and Galileo Galilei a Padova: ricerche e scoperte, insegnamento, scolari (1968); Carlo L. Golino (ed.), Galileo Reappraised (1966), a collection of papers delivered at a commemorative conference in 1965; Ernan McMullin (ed.), Galileo, Man of Science (1968, reissued 1988), consisting chiefly of papers presented at the Galileo Quatercentenary Congress in 1964; Stillman Drake, Galileo Studies: Personality, Tradition, and Revolution (1970); William R. Shea, Galileo's Intellectual Revolution: Middle Period, 1610–1632, 2nd ed. (1977); Dudley Shapere, Galileo: A Philosophical Study (1974); Maurice Clavelin, The Natural Philosophy of Galileo: Essay on the Origins and Formatino of Classical Mechanics (1974; originally published in French, 1968); Alexandre Koyré, Galileo Studies (1978; originally published in French, 3 vol., 1939); Maurice A. Finocchiaro, Galileo and the Art of Reasoning: Rhetorical Foundations of Logic and Scientific Method (1980); Silvio A. Bedini, The Pulse of Time: Galileo Galilei, the Determination of Longitude, and the Pendulum Clock (1991); Michael Segre, In the Wake of Galileo (1991); Victor Coelho (ed.), Music and Science in the Age of Galileo (1992); Joseph C. Pitt, Galileo, Human Knowledge, and the Book of Nature: Method Replaces Metaphysics (1992); Mario Biagioli, Galileo, Courtier: The Practice of Science in the Culture of Absolutism (1993); Jean Dietz Moss, Novelties in the Heavens: Rhetoric and Science in the Copernican Controversy (1993); and Cesare S. Maffioli, Out of Galileo: The Science of Waters, 1628–1718 (1994).Works specifically treating Galileo and the Roman Catholic church include Karl von Gebler, Galileo Galilei and the Roman Curia (1879, reprinted 1977; originally published in German, 2 vol., 1876–77); Giorgio de Santillana, The Crime of Galileo (1955, reprinted 1981); Jerome J. Langford, Galileo, Science, and the Church, 3rd ed. (1992); Pietro Redondi, Galileo Heretic (1987; originally published in Italian, 1983); Richard S. Westfall, Essays on the Trial of Galileo (1989); Richard J. Blackwell, Galileo, Bellarmine, and the Bible (1991); Rivka Feldhay, Galileo and the Church: Political Inquisition or Critical Dialogue? (1995); and Annibale Fantoli, Galileo: For Copernicanism and for the Church, 2nd ed., rev. and corrected (1996; originally published in Italian, 1993).Albert Van Helden

 in space exploration, robotic U.S. spacecraft launched to Jupiter for extended orbital study of the planet, its magnetic field, and its moons. Galileo was a follow-on to the much briefer flyby visits of Pioneers (Pioneer) 10 and 11 (1973–74) and Voyagers (Voyager) 1 and 2 (1979).

 Galileo was placed into Earth orbit on October 18, 1989, by the space shuttle Atlantis. It then was boosted into a roundabout trajectory toward Jupiter along which it benefited from a series of gravity-assist, or slingshot, procedures during flybys of Venus (February 10, 1990) and Earth (December 8, 1990, and December 8, 1992). In addition to sensors to monitor the particles and fields of the solar wind throughout the interplanetary cruise and then within Jupiter's magnetosphere, Galileo was equipped with a scan platform that carried four optical instruments. A high-resolution camera was complemented by a near-infrared mapping spectrometer (for studying the thermal, chemical, and structural nature of Jupiter's moons and the composition of the planet's atmosphere), an ultraviolet spectrometer (for measuring gases and aerosols and detecting complex molecules), and an integrated photopolarimeter and radiometer (for studying atmospheric composition and thermal energy distribution).

 During two passes into the asteroid belt, Galileo flew past the asteroids Gaspra (October 29, 1991) and Ida (August 28, 1993), thereby providing the first close-up views of such bodies; in the process, it discovered a tiny satellite (Dactyl) orbiting Ida. Galileo also furnished a unique perspective of the collision of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 (Shoemaker-Levy 9, Comet) with Jupiter as it closed on the planet in July 1994.

      On July 13, 1995, Galileo released a 339-kg (747-pound) atmospheric probe on a collision course with Jupiter. Nearly five months later (December 7) the probe penetrated the Jovian cloud tops slightly north of the equator. As it slowly descended by parachute through 165 km (about 100 miles) of atmosphere, its instruments reported on ambient temperature, pressure, density, net energy flows, electrical discharges, cloud structure, and chemical composition. After almost 58 minutes, having achieved its mission, the probe's transmitter failed because of the rising temperature. A few hours later, completing a journey of six years and 3.7 billion km (2.3 billion miles), the main Galileo craft entered orbit around Jupiter.

 Over the next five years Galileo flew a series of orbits that produced close encounters with Jupiter's four largest moons—in order of distance from the planet, Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto. Despite the fouling of its high-gain main antenna early in the mission, which frustrated transmission of the lavish imaging coverage that originally had been planned, Galileo yielded revealing close-up portraits of selected features on the moons and dramatic images of Jupiter's cloud layers, auroras (aurora), and storm systems, including the long-lived Great Red Spot. A particular highlight was its detailed views of the shattered icy surface of Europa, which showed evidence of a possible subsurface ocean of liquid water. Following completion of Galileo's two-year primary mission, its orbit was adjusted to send it into the intense, potentially damaging radiation near the planet to make a very close pass of Io and scrutinize its active volcanoes (volcano) in unprecedented detail. After undertaking coordinated studies of Jupiter's magnetic environment with the Cassini spacecraft (launched October 15, 1997) as that craft flew through the Jovian system in December 2000 en route to Saturn, Galileo's activity was curtailed. In September 2003 it was sent plunging into Jupiter's atmosphere to destroy itself in order to prevent its possible contamination of a Jovian moon.

David M. Harland
 

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Universalium. 2010.

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