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The Italian Representation at the International Organizations in Paris inaugurates on Wednesday 13 June, the exhibition “Galileo and satellite navigation” , which will be on display until 28 June in the “La Passerelle” gallery of the prestigious “Pierre et Marie Curie” scientific campus of the Sorbonne University in Paris.

The exhibition, organized by the Italian Representation, Sorbonne University and the Galileo Museum of Florence, collects reproductions of instruments and documents both from the Tuscan scientist’s era and current ones. Standing out are the faithful copy of one of Galileo’s two telescopes that have survived to the present day and the jovilabe, an ‘analog computer’ invented by Galileo to calculate celestial motions.

Starting from 1492 the problem of how to obtain a precise geolocation became even more pressing. A century later, in 1610, Galileo Galilei discovered the satellites of Jupiter in Padua, and realized that a sailor capable of observing the eclipses of those satellites could know his own position. But his genius imagination was three hundred and fifty years ahead of the technique. Galileo’s method was impractical at sea, but was successful on land, becoming fundamental in cartography. In 1682 Giovanni Cassini, then director of the Observatoire de Paris, used Galileo’s technique to draw a map of France which was significantly improved compared to the previous ones.

Today the technique imagined by the Tuscan genius has reached space, thanks to the European satellite system for geolocation called, not surprisingly, “Galileo”, which is the most precise in the world, thanks to the Italian atomic clock technology created by Leonardo. The inauguration of the exhibition is accompanied by a multidisciplinary conference that connects Galileo’s discoveries to the current concept of satellite geolocalisation and to examples taken from nature, which for Galileo was the teacher of science.

The Italian Permanent Representative accredited to the European Space Agency, Ambassador Luca Sabbatucci, in presenting the initiative underlined that “the exhibition aims to be a tribute to Italian ingenuity in the field of space, celebrating Galileo Galilei. It has a dual gaze: to the past which has led us to the extraordinary results obtained by contemporary technology, and to the future, which, resting its foundations on those same intuitions, is leading us to exciting inventions and discoveries. In all these steps” – concluded Ambassador Sabbatucci – “there is a constant that we are proud to highlight: the contribution of Italian research and our knowledge in a strategic sector such as space”