Observing the Universe: Galileo's Starry Messenger

Session details


Online Virtual Classroom

Curriculum Links
Science (theory and observation)
History (scientific revolution)

Key Stage 3
Suitable for Years 8 & 9

Length of session
50 minutes

Maximum group size
30 students


In this online session students will:


  • Understand the relationship between observations and ideas about the Universe
  • Explore the development of scientific method
  • Learn about historic objects from the Museum’s collection


In this interactive session, we explore how ideas about the Universe and solar system evolved from Ptolemy to Galileo based on an understanding of scientific method.

We look at how scientists work, exploring how the evidence of their time gathered by astronomers like Ptolemy and Galileo led to two contrasting models of the Universe.

We will also explore how the introduction of the telescope in the early 1600s CE brought about a revolution in observing the Universe which provided Galileo with the evidence he needed to convince philosophers to change their theories and beliefs.

Students will take part in breakout activities and meet some fascinating objects from the Museum’s collection.

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