Galileo's finger on show!Submitted by Galileo on Thu, 02/26/2009 - 15:01
Galileo's finger on show!
Astronomer's middle digit to draw crowds in Florence
(ANSA) - Florence, February 26 - The finger of Galileo Galilei, the only remaining part of the 17th-century astronomer, will go on show as part of a huge exhibition in Florence celebrating the 400th anniversary of his first landmark observations of the night sky.
The digit - specifically the middle finger from Galileo's right hand - will be among 250 exhibits on display at Palazzo Strozzi from March 13 to August 30 for Galileo: Images of the Universe from Antiquity to the Telescope.
In addition to giving the public a look at Galileo's finger, the show will examine the history of conceptions of the cosmos, with archaeological finds, scientific instruments, star maps, drawings, paintings and precious manuscripts from around the world.
The finger was detached from Galileo's body by the historian Anton Francesco Gori on 12 March 1737 when the astronomer's remains were transferred from his original burial place in unconsecrated ground to a specially created mausoleum in the Church of Santa Croce in Florence. Protected in a crystal globe resting on a marble base, the digit is usually on display at Florence's Museum of the History of Science.
The museum's director, Paolo Galluzzi, last month applied for permission to exhume Galileo's body in order to take DNA samples and investigate whether serious eyesight problems he suffered later in life may have affected some of his findings.
Galluzzi also wants to exhume a mysterious woman buried with Galileo, who is generally thought to be his eldest daughter, for DNA comparisons.
Galileo (1564-1642) started making regular observations of the night sky in 1609, which led him to conclude that the sun was at the centre of the universe, rather than the Earth, as was commonly believed at the time. Church opposition to Galileo's sun-centred model flared up immediately in 1612 and would dog Galileo for the rest of his life. In 1633 he was tried and convicted of heresy and a ban was imposed on the publication or reprinting of any of his works. He spent the final nine years of his life under house arrest. Photo: Galileo.
SEE GALILEO'S FINGER!
Inscription on the case with Galileo's finger:
This is the finger, belonging to the illustrious hand that ran through the skies
Pointing at the immense spaces, and singling out new stars
Offering to the senses a marvelous apparatus of crafted glass
And with wise daring they could reach where neither Enceladus nor Tiphaeus ever reached.
READ ABOUT GALILEO'S FINGER!
Galileo's Finger: The Ten Great Ideas of Science
by Peter Atkins
Galileo flipping off the Catholic Church from beyond the grave
Billy and Galileo's finger
What hot chicks think of Galileo's finger:
Alexis and Galileo's Finger
Me with Galileo's finger. It was weird, but this is a picture of me with the actual (piece of) Galileo!
Offcial website of Galileo's Middle Finger
Galileo... Stickin' It To The Man For 400+ Years!