1571 was also interesting. Galileo Galilei was then seven years old. Johannes Kepler was born on December 27. There were two solar eclipses, a total on January 25 and an annular on July 21-22. Four, one partial and three penumbral, lunar eclipses occurred on August 5 and February 10, July 7, and December 31, respectively. 

Antoine Caron painted in early 1570s this painting that you can view at The Getty Center in Los Angeles. Its title is Dionysius the Areopagite Converting the Pagan Philosophers but some people call it Astronomers Studying an Eclipse.  Which eclipse do you suppose is the subject? 

Antoine Caron Astronomers Studying an Eclipse.jpg
Antoine Caron, French. (Credit: Wikipedia)

My preliminary analysis supports that Galileo might have known about the Total Eclipse of 1571 in some way. Here is an animation by Andrew Sinclair. The black umbral shadow was much smaller than the grey penumbral shadow that you watch in motion. 
Animation of the Total Eclipse of the Sun on 1571 January 25
© HM Nautical Almanac Office, UK Hydrographic Office, 2005. (By Andrew Sinclair)

Kepler acquired his life's interest in astronomy when he saw the Great Comet of 1577 at the age of six. Afterwards he noticed the red moon during the Lunar Eclipse of 1580. Both Galileo and Kepler would have liked the Total Eclipse of 2009. Below are seven satellite images that were produced by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) on July 22, 2009. The solar eclipse's maximum duration of totality was 6 minutes and 39 seconds and will stay as the longest until the next century. 





Eclipse Shadows Southeastern China 
Credit: JAXA.