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History Heroes Scientists Stephen Hawking & Galileo’s spooky link

7th January 2015

History Heroes Scientists Stephen Hawking & Galileo’s spooky link: Stephen Hawking & Galileo Galilei are, unsurprisingly, 2 of History Heroes’ Scientists, complete with their own cards full of fascinating facts of what they achieved, how and when. That isn’t their spooky link, soon to be revealed – bear with! Both of them are giants of astronomy and both changed the way we see and understand our world.

History Heroes: Galileo Galilei

Galileo Galilei

History Heroes: Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking








Galileo fundamentally changed the way the world was viewed in the 17th century, so much so that the Catholic Church branded him a heretic and put him under house arrest. Through his astronomical studies and the telescope that he built himself, he was able to prove Copernicus’ Theory that the Sun was the centre of our Universe. Until then, people believed that the planets moved around the stationary Earth. Galileo also revealed that the Moon was a planet of mountains and craters; he identified 4 moons orbiting Jupiter and in 1610, Galileo discovered the Rings of Saturn. Galileo frightened people by his discoveries by making clear that there was a lot more ‘out there’ that we don’t know about and we can only learn more by continuing to observe, question and make sense of all that we discover.

Who better to embody this premise in the present day than Stephen Hawking, who has reshaped the way we think about Black Holes and the Universe – that Black Holes are not voids, but radiate matter and that the way the Universe began was determined by the laws of science, rather than God. Lucky for Galileo that he didn’t go that far in the 17th century: it wouldn’t have just been a house arrest for him then!

The spooky link between the two scientists/astronomers, apart from the clear link in their respective bodies of work, is that Stephen Hawking was born on the 8th January 1942, 300 years TO THE DAY of Galileo’s death.  As Stephen Hawking himself said, “200,000 other babies were also born that day. I don’t know whether any of them were later interested in Astronomy”

History Heroes’ Scientists game can offer its own spooky link between the two men: their cards come after each other alphabetically in our card game!





Find out more and buy the game here »