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History shows Galileo to be much more than an astronomical hero. His clear and careful record keeping and publication style not only let Galileo understand the Solar System, it continues to let anyone understand how Galileo did it. Galileo’s notes directly integrated his data (drawings of Jupiter and its moons), key metadata (timing of each observation, weather, telescope properties), and text (descriptions of methods, analysis, and conclusions). Critically, when Galileo included the information from those notes in Siderius Nuncius (Galilei 1610), this integration of text, data and metadata was preserved, as shown in Figure 1. Galileo’s work advanced the “Scientific Revolution,” and his approach to observation and analysis contributed significantly to the shaping of today’s modern ”Scientific Method” (Galilei 1618, Drake 1957).


  1. G. Galilei. Sidereus nuncius. Thomas Baglioni, 1610.

  2. G. Galilei. The Assayer, as Translated by Stillman Drake (1957). (1618). Link

  3. S. Drake. Discoveries and Opinions of Galileo: Including The Starry Messenger (1610), Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina (1615), and Excerpts from Letters on Sunspots (1613), The Assayer (1623). Anchor Books, 1957. Link

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