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Who invented the telescope? Not Galileo. Who first pointed it at the heavens? Again, it wasn't Galileo. So then why do we honor him today?
The first documented "spyglass" is generally credited to a Dutch lens grinder named Hans Lipperhey, who found that two lenses, properly placed, could magnify distant objects. He applied for a patent in 1608.
Likewise, an adventurous Englishman named Thomas Harriot (sometimes spelled Harriott) is generally given credit for reporting the first telescope observations of the moon. His first drawings , complete with craters and renditions of the Sea of Tranquility where Neil Armstrong would later walk, date to July 1609.
So what did Galileo do that is worth noting today? Nothing much. He just changed the world as western civilization knew it.
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