Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
Search NOVA Teachers

Back to Teachers Home

Galileo's Battle for the Heavens

Program Overview


NOVA explores the story of Galileo Galilei—his scientific contributions, his clash with the Catholic Church, and his correspondence with his convent daughter.

The program:

  • provides an historical backdrop of 17th-century Italy, including the spread of the bubonic plague, the role of the Inquisition, and the influence of powerful court families.

  • examines Galileo's astronomical discoveries, including four of Jupiter's moons, sunspots, and the rotation of the Sun.

  • highlights Galileo's role as founder of modern physics due to his studies of motion and his experiments with inclined planes.

  • shows Galileo's talent as an inventor with his improved telescope design.

  • tells of Galileo's correspondence with his illegitimate daughter, Maria Celeste, who embraced the tenets of the Catholic Church and became a nun.

  • chronicles Galileo's clash with the Catholic Church following publication of his Dialogue on the Two Chief World Systems, a rhetorical masterpiece in support of the Copernican Sun-centered system.

Teacher's Guide
Galileo's Battle for the Heavens
BUY THE VIDEO PROGRAM OVERVIEW VIEWING IDEAS CLASSROOM ACTIVITY IDEAS FROM TEACHERS RELATED NOVA RESOURCES INTERACTIVE FOR STUDENTS
   

Support provided by