What do you remember when you hear the names Galileo, Copernicus or Kepler? Do you know who is responsible for discovering the famous comet ‘Halley Comet’? Perhaps after browsing this article, you will get familiar with these great legendary people and their extraordinary discoveries and works. Over the last centuries, astronomers have worked exceptionally hard through various observations and discoveries, by using the stars to track seasons and erecting large structures in defining the path of the sun and moon. They have largely contributed towards the development and progress in the field of astronomy. Besides, some even have provided us with clocks and calendars to monitor the seasons passing by. Some such notable astronomers are enlisted in the lines that follow. Check them out!
List Of Great Astronomers
Galileo Galilei (1564-1642)
An Italian physicist and astronomer, Galileo is best remembered for his phenomenal contribution in the fields of astronomy, mathematics and physics. He is known for creating the first telescope, though his first model was very weak. Nonetheless, he achieved success with his second model through which he could see craters on the moon, four of Jupiter’s moons and numerous stars in the Milky Way.
Nicholas Copernicus (1473 -1543)
This famous Polish astronomer is famous for his Copernicus theory that states the sun is the center of the universe, not the earth. The earth simply spins on its axis and revolves around the sun completing one revolution in one year. Today, this model is known as heliocentric or suncentered system.
Claudius Ptolemaeus (83 - 161 AD)
Popularly known as Ptolemy, Claudius Ptolemaeus was a Greek astronomer, mathematician, geographer and astrologer working in Egypt. He is known for his various astronomical theories stated in the treatise ‘Almagest’. The most important of all is the geocentric model, which states the positions and motions of planets, sun and moon as against the stars that did not move. Initially, he assumed earth to be the center of the universe; however, after further study, he believed that the earth and other planets moved in circles around much larger objects.
Johannes Kepler (1571-1630)
A German astronomer and natural philosopher, Johannes Kepler formulated and verified the three laws of planetary motion, now known as Kepler’s Laws, describing the motion of two celestial bodies, such as a planet and its star. He devised a complex geometric hypothesis, wherein he mistakably assumed the distance of planetary orbits as circular.
Edmond Halley (1656-1742)
This British astronomer was the first astronomer to calculate a comet’s orbit. The orbit of the famous Halley Comet was predicted by Edmond himself, and was hence, named in his honor. In the treatise called Astronomiae Cometicae Synopsis (Synopsis on Cometary Astronomy), he demonstrated that comets move in elliptic orbits around the sun and over time, they pass through the same point. This was proved correct when Halley’s Comet in his 1705 work Synopsis of the Astronomy of Comets predicted that a comet which had appeared in 1682 would appear after every 76 years. This proved to be correct when the comet was seen again in 1758. This comet was named in Hailey's honor as Hailey's comet.
Tycho Brahe (1546-1601)
A Danish astronomer, Tycho Brahe gained popularity after he made correct astronomical measurements of the solar system and more than 700 stars. The supernova found near the Cassiopeia constellation in 1572 was one of his greatest discoveries. The astronomy observatory that he built in 1576 is known as the Castel of Uranienborg or “fortress of heavens”.