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Galileo



Galileo
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.64

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    spyglass, thermoscope, teaching, philosophy, pendulum, mathematical, scope, biography, university, cathedral, writing, mathematics, universe, version, alas, prisoner
     content words:    Vincenzio Viviani


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Galileo
By Phyllis Naegeli
  

1     Vincenzio Viviani sat with his teacher to begin an interview for the biography he was writing. Galileo, now blind, was reviewing his life with his pupil.
 
2     "I have been in this home for four years now," said Galileo. "I am condemned for believing in Copernicus's teaching that the sun, not the Earth, is the center of the universe. I am grateful to have you here with me as a student and a friend."
 
3     "And I am grateful for what I have learned from you," said Vincenzio. "Please tell me the story of the telescope again."
 
4     "I was given this spyglass," said the old man, holding up a small scope.
 
5     "It can magnify things three times, but I wanted to see the stars. So I improved it and developed this one," said Galileo, pointing to a much larger version of the spyglass.
 
6     "With the larger telescope, objects are magnified more than twenty times," he said with pride in his voice. "I was able to look at the moon and see its mountains and valleys. I discovered that Jupiter had four moons orbiting around her. That was an amazing discovery for me. It convinced me that the Earth was not the center of everything, as has been taught for more than a thousand years. Because the four moons revolved around Jupiter, I knew that not everything revolved around the Earth. Then I was able to verify the phases of Venus. The shadows that crossed over Venus showed that the sun was the center of our universe, not the Earth," Galileo finished.
 
7     "Tell me about the sun," said Vincenzio. "What did you learn about it?"
 
8     "I learned about the spots on the sun. By observing the movement of the sunspots, I discovered that the sun rotates just like the planets. Alas, I spent too much time studying the sun through the telescope, and that is why I have become blind," said Galileo. "When I told people about my discoveries, many of them did not like these new ideas about the universe. That is why the church has made me a prisoner in my own home."

Paragraphs 9 to 17:
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