Famous Astronomers Page
Image: Johannes Kepler
Image Credit: Encarta
Kepler(1571-1630) was a German astronomy and natrual philosophere who was
known for his ability in formulating and verifying the three laws of planetary
motion, which are now known as Keplers's Laws. He studed
theology and classics at the University of Tubingen. While he was
there he studied the Copernican theory, which he accepted. When Kepler
left Tubingen to go to Graz, Austria, he began to work on a complex geometric
hypothesis to explain the distance of planetary orbits, which he mistakingly
took as circular. During this he also proposed that the sun emitted a force
that inversely diminishes the distance and pushes the planets around their
orbits. Using all of this information he wrote a book called Mysterium
Comosgraphicum(Cosmographic Mystery) in 1596. From 1594 to 1600 Kepler
was the chair of astronomy and mathematics the University of Graz, until
he became Tycho Brahe's assistant at the observatory near Prague.
When Tycho passed away, Kepler took over his position and spent most of
the rest of his life writing treatises and books. While in Prague
he wrote Astronomia Nova(New Astronomy), which was a detailed culmination
of efforts to calculate Mars' orbit. Later, Kepler moved to Linz where
he became mathematician to the states of Oberosterreich(Upper Austria).
While living there, he wrote a book called Harmonice Mundi(Harmony of the
World). This book was about the discovery of planetary motion using the
theory that the ratio of the cube of a planet's distance from the sun and
square of the planet's orbital period is a constand and is the same for
all of the planets. He also wrote Epitome Astronomiae Copernicanae(Epitome
of Copernican Astronomy), and Tabulae Rudolfinae(Rudolfine Tables).
Epitome was one of the more important of all his books because it held
all of his theories and discoveries in one book.
August 28, 1998.
unless otherwise credited, are credit of M. Mathis, 1998.