Galileo di Vincenzo Bonaiuti de' Galilei
(1564-1642), an Italian mathematician, is considered the father of science and modern astronomy. As well as discovering the moons of Jupiter, he developed the laws of motion and improved the design of the compass and the telescope. Galileo was the first to explain that in the absence of air resistance a feather would fall to earth as fast as a stone. He clashed with the Roman Catholic church over the question of Copernican astronomy, arguing in favour of a sun-centred universe as opposed to the earth-centred model traditionally espoused. Accused of heresy, he was placed under house arrest for much of the remainder of his life.