Title page of 'Cosmic System' by Galileo, 1663.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Title page of an edition of Galileo's 'Systema Cosmicum' ('Cosmic System') published in London in 1663. Galileo Galilei (1564-1642), Italian astronomer and physicist, is one of the greatest scientists of all time. Among his achievements was the discovery of Jupiter's moons and the laws governing falling bodies. His scientific approach to the investigation of celestial phenomena and his support for the Copernican theory of the solar system caused him to be imprisoned by the Inquisition.