History

The reference to Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei[1] (1564-1642) was chosen in view of the possibility that the Galileo Project may make path-breaking discoveries regarding ETCs.  The importance of the potential discoveries of rigorously validated scientific evidence of extraterrestrial technology may be similar in impact on astronomy and our world view as Galileo's pioneering use of telescopes for astronomical observations were in history.

Galileo’s improved design of an optical telescope allowed him to discover the four largest moons of Jupiter in 1609-1610. These Galilean moons were the first satellites found to orbit a planet other than Earth. Galileo also discovered Saturn's rings in 1610.

Both discoveries provided key evidence in favor of the model of heliocentrism[2], developed by Nicolaus Copernicus and published in 1543, which gradually displaced the previous, dogmatic and incorrect geocentric model[3] of the universe. According to popular legend, after recanting under persecution his theory that the Earth moved around the Sun, Galileo allegedly muttered the rebellious phrase, "And yet it moves." Galileo also complained that some of the philosophers who opposed his discoveries had refused even to look through his telescope, e.g., to see the mountains on the Moon, or the four largest moons of Jupiter.

Let us not repeat their mistake.