Title page of 'History and Demonstrations...' by Galileo, 1613.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Illustrated title page of 'Istoria E Dimonstrazioni' (History and Demonstrations Concerning Sunspots and their Properties, Rome, 1613). Italian astronomer and physicist Galileo (1564-1642) inferred the rotation of the Sun from his observations of solar or sun spots. He was sentenced to indefinite imprisonment by the Inquisition, (later commuted), for his findings which the Church saw as heretical. Galileo was one of the greatest scientists and his achievements include the discovery of Jupiter's moons and the laws governing falling bodies, and suggesting a general scientific approach to the investigation of celestial phenomena.