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It is only fitting that the silver niobium coin struck in honour of UNESCO’s International Year of Astronomy 2009 should bear the portrait of Galileo Galilei. A must for all stargazers, this striking 25 euro coin also pays tribute to 400 years of the telescope.
In 1609, mathematician and astronomer Galileo first observed the moon with a telescope. His subsequent drawings of its surface provide the background to his portrait on this marvellous golden yellow silver niobium 25 euro coin’s reverse. The Sterling silver ring around its niobium core shows the development of the telescope spanning from Isaac Newton to present-day radio telescopes. The dark side of the moon was, however, beyond Galileo’s reach. A satellite is shown orbiting it on the obverse of the coin, while the outer silver ring shows planet Earth partly covered by the moon and a stylised sun illuminating the heavens.