Taken from the project website:
"Slated for worldwide release in January 2009, the film 400 Years
of the Telescope weaves a far-flung tapestry of astronomy, technology, and humanity, exploring how Galileo Galilei’s’s
first telescopic observations of the heavens forever changed man’s views the universe—and his place in it.
film zips across dozens of time zones and six centuries, from the days of Copernicus to recent findings from the Hubble Telescope,
tracing the huge impact Galileo’s improvements on Hans Lipperhey’s simple spyglass had on the way scientists study
the stars. 400 Years of the Telescope opens in 17th century Florence, Italy, with Galileo training his spyglass—modified
with two small pieces of glass—on the heavens and discovering that the moon, like earth, has pits, valleys, and peaks;
that Jupiter itself has four moons; that Venus has phases like the Moon; and most shocking of all: the Earth is not the center
of the universe. "
Visit the project website http://www.400years.org/
for information on screenings, planetarium programs and to sign up for the newsletter. This IYA Special Project, along
with other film projects, should be celebrated with sidewalk observing at all showings! What could be more perfect than giving
the audience a chance to experience looking through a telescope after seeing the history?