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SECRETS OF THE DEAD: Galileo’s Moon

Stream now with KPBS Passport or tune in Thursday, Aug. 6 at 8 p.m. on KPBS 2

Historian Nick Wilding at the National Central Library of Florence in Florenc...

Credit: Courtesy of Copyright PO François and M. Pansard

Above: Historian Nick Wilding at the National Central Library of Florence in Florence, Italy.

Join experts as they examine an alleged proof copy of Galileo’s revolutionary “Sidereus Nuncius” on SECRETS OF THE DEAD "Galileo's Moon."

When it was published in 1610, Galileo’s “Sidereus Nuncius” (Starry Messenger) set in motion a scientific revolution. Using observations he made of both the earth’s moon and Jupiter’s moons, Galileo proved earth is not the center of the universe.

Five hundred and fifty copies of the original treatise were originally printed and roughly 150 are known to exist today.

When an original copy with Galileo’s signature and seemingly original watercolor paintings of the phases of the moon believed to be done by Galileo himself came on the market in 2005, “Sidereus Nuncius” caused a worldwide sensation 400 years after its creation… and again in 2012 when it was proved a fake.

The Center of the Universe

In 1610, Galileo challenged the widely-accepted belief that the universe revolved around the earth, resulting in dramatic consequences from the Roman Catholic church.

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Forgery 101

Experts explain how a fake Sidereus Nuncius made its way into infamy on the rare book dealing circuit.

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