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The Visualization Legacy of Galileo’s Medicean Moons
When Galileo published Sidereus Nuncius in 1610, he introduced the visualization aspects of astronomy. While his portrayals of the Earth’s moon utilized his considerable talents in perspective and chiaroscuro drawing, the satellites of Jupiter were mere points of light depicted by star symbols embedded within his printed text. Within fifty years, the Harmonia Macrocosmica (1660) of Andreas Cellarius illustrated different cosmologies that included, when logically appropriate, Jupiter with companions of different sizes orbiting at different distances. Telescopic photographs and satellite images of Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto did not appear until the twentieth century. Yet, from the late seventeenth century up to the present time, illustrations, paintings and sculptures of the Galilean moons continued to appear in a remarkable breadth of uses and styles.