Galileo and the invention of the Telescope (Advanced / Intermediate Lesson)

Essas aulas de inglês são para alunos intermediários e avançados de inglês como segunda língua. Eles incluem “Ler”, “Ouvir” e “Escrever”. Basta seguir a lição respondendo às perguntas à medida que as encontra. Todas as vagas em negrito devem ser traduzidas para seu próprio idioma para ajudar na compreensão do novo vocabulário.

Galileo di Vincenzo Bonaiuti de’ Galilei was an Italian astronomer, physicist and engineer, sometimes described as a polymath. Commonly referred to as Galileo, his name was pronounced. He was born in the city of Pisa on the 15th February 1564, then part of the Duchy of Florence.


Question:   What is a “polymath”? 


Listening Section


Before we begin the reading section I want you to watch this short video and then answer the five questions below the video.

Answer the ten (10) questions below:
  1.  How long ago did Galileo live?
  2.  What was the first thing they looked at through the magnifying glass?
  3.  Name four things that Galileo invented and built.
  4.  What is a lense?
  5. There is a line in a well known “Queen” song that mentions Galileo.  Do a little research and write the famous line that Freddy Mercury wrote on my whatsapp.
  6.  What could Galileo see on the moons surface?
  7.  What did it say in the Bible about the movement of the Earth?
  8. At 3 minutes and 44 seconds she says that Galileo was “cross” what does it mean “to be cross”?
  9.  Galileo was “imprisoned in his home” for most of his life. Explain what this means.
  10.  Galileo once said,  “The bible is intended to teach us how to go to heaven not how the heavens go.” What does this mean?


The invention of the telescope played an important role in advancing our understanding of Earth’s place in the cosmos. While there is evidence that the principals of telescopes were known in the late 16th century, the first telescopes were created in the Netherlands in 1608. Spectacle makers Hans Lippershey & Zacharias Janssen and Jacob Metius independently created telescopes. The telescope emerged from a tradition of craftsmanship and technical innovation around spectacles and developments in the science of optics traced back through Roger Bacon and a series of Islamic scientists, in particular Al-Kindi.


The story of Galileo’s telescopic observations illustrates how a tool for seeing and collecting evidence can dramatically change our understanding of the cosmos.

Early telescopes were primarily used for making Earth-bound observations, such as surveying and military tactics. Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) was part of a small group of astronomers who turned telescopes towards the heavens. After hearing about the “Danish perspective glass” in 1609, Galileo constructed his own telescope. He subsequently demonstrated the telescope in Venice. His demonstration of the telescope earned him a lifetime lectureship.

After his initial success, Galileo focused on refining the instrument. The initial telescope he created (and the Dutch ones it was based on) magnified objects three diameters. That is, it made things look three times larger than they did with the naked eye. Through refining the design of the telescope he developed an instrument that could magnify eight times, and eventually thirty times.


This increased magnification of heavenly objects had a significant and immediate impact.  These new observations were by no means exclusive to Galileo.  The story of Galileo and the telescope is a powerful example of the key role that technologies play in enabling advances in scientific knowledge. With that said, the telescope isn’t the only technology at play in this story. Galileo deftly used the printed book and the design of prints in his books to present his research to the learned community.  This is not a story of a lone thinker theorizing and piecing together a new model of the cosmos. Quite the contrary, an array of individuals in the early 17th century took the newly created telescopes and pointed them toward the heavens. Unlike those other observers, however, Galileo rapidly published his findings.  In some cases, Galileo understood the significance and importance of these observations more readily than his contemporaries. It was this understanding, and foresight to publish, that made Galileo’s ideas stand the test of time.


Write 100 words about Galileo’s final quotation in the video. What does this mean to you?  Galileo once said,  “The bible is intended to teach us how to go to heaven not how the heavens go.”

Grammar to use:

Please try to use some comparatives and superlatives in your writing.

Answer to question  Question:   What is a “polymath”?

A polymath is a person who knows a lot about a lot of subjects.



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