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Galileo Galilei (Feb. 15, 1564 -- Jan. 8, 1642) was an Italian physicist, astronomer, and mathematician who is widely considered to be the father of modern science, in which ideas about the world are only considered true after experiments are in agreement with them. Galileo is credited with first observing that falling bodies of different masses move the same through gravity, contradicting popular conceptions of the day. He proposed a heliocentric model of the Solar System to explain the observed motion of the planets. This view put him in conflict with the Catholic Church, which forced him to publicly repent his views, while actually holding firmly to his ideas. He was forced into house arrest for the remainder of his life. Acknowledgement of mishandling the situation was not formally made by the Catholic Church until 1992.