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Galileo Did Not Invent the Telescope

Galileo Galilei, the famous Italian scientist who discovered Jupiter's four closest moons, did not invent the telescope that he used to see those moons. In fact, he just made the telescope better.

Hans Lippershey, a man from the Netherlands who made eyeglasses, invented the telescope in 1608. He wanted to see things far away--on land--so he put existing technology and his imagination together and came up with the telescope.

The Dutch government tried to keep the invention a secret, but it didn't work out that way. Galileo heard about it and built his own. Galileo's telescope was three times more powerful than Lippershey's, and Galileo had the idea to turn it into the night sky. And in 1611, he saw Ganymede, Io, Europe, and Callisto--proof that Jupiter had moons and that Earth wasn't the center of the universe (or even the solar system).

Galileo is often thought to have invented the telescope because he made so many important discoveries with it. Galilei invented many other things, including the microscope but the credit for inventing the telescope goes to Holland's Hans Lippershey.


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