General Coin Information
2009 has been named the International Year of Astronomy, marking the 400th anniversary of the Galileo telescope. To celebrate, the Austrian Mint has created the 2009 version of their successful silver and niobium bimetal coin to reflect this, calling it the Year of Astronomy 25 Euro Coin.
Galileo Galilei lived in the 16th-17th centuries. His achievements in the scientific world helped to bring about what many today term the "Scientific Revolution". He came to be known as a learned physicist, mathematician, philosopher, and astronomer.
Principal among his accomplishments was the development of a powerful telescope. While only 30x magnification, this was sufficient for him to make several important discoveries in the field of astronomy. Chief among these were:
-He discovered Jupiter's four largest moons
-He viewed the Milky Way galaxy and determined it was a large formation of stars instead of the nebulous cloud it had been thought to be
-He observed the moon and reported it was covered in mountains and craters, and not a perfect sphere as Aristotle had though
Galileo's finding earned him the nickname "Father of Astronomy".
The Year of Astronomy Coin is comprised of an outer ring of sterling silver surrounding a niobium pill in the center colored yellow. Niobium is used because it is easily modified to create multiple colors, giving the mint a wide palate to design from.
The obverse of the astronomy coin shows the "dark side" of the moon, the side which Galileo was unable to see, on the yellow niobium pill. Surrounding the pill are images of Earth, a space satellite and the sun. The inscriptions "Republik Österreich" and "25 Euro" are also shown.
The reverse honors the 400th anniversary of the creation of Galileo's telescope. A portrait of Galileo is shown on the left. The right contains a drawing, based on Galileo's own, of the surface of the moon and the Kremsmuenster observatory in Austria. Below the drawing are images of both Galileo's and Newton's telescopes. The top of the coin showcases the sun, with a modern telescopic satellite as well as an image of Jupiter.
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