Galileo’s Instruments of Discovery

With these various instruments, Galileo Galilei was able to look into space and change our view of the universe.

Galileo Galilei invented the geometric and military compass. It was his first commercial scientific instrument. (Franklin Institute)

Armillary Sphere

Galileo armillary sphere
(Franklin Institute)

At the center of this instrument sits a globe representing the earth. The bands around it pivot on a common center and illustrate the paths of the sun and moon, known planets and important stars. The device was invented sometime in the last few centuries before Christ, but the sphere became widely used in Europe by a thousand years ago. This armillary sphere dates to 1578.


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