Johannes Kepler was born on 27th December, 1571 and died on 15th November 1630. He was the German astronomer who was known for discovering three laws of planetary motion. He stated them as-
1) The planets take the Sun as one focus and move in the elliptical orbits around it.
2) The time that is needed to traverse any arc of the planetary orbit is directly proportional to the area taken of the sector between the central body and that of the arc. This was known as the area law.
3) He also established the exact relationship between the squares of the periodic times of the planets and the cubes of the radius of the orbits of the planets. This was known as the harmonic law.
Kepler wasn’t the one responsible for calling his observation as laws. It was because of the derivation of these discoveries by Isaac Newton, that they were used to formulate new set of the physical principles.
He was always interested in astronomy mainly because he witnessed a comet in 1577 and a lunar eclipse in 1580. He used to create horoscopes for the fellow students of University of Tubingen where he used to study philosophy and mathematics.
He even completed work in optics and improved upon the Keplerian telescope which was a refracting telescope. He even discovered the conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter in the zodiac which helped in uncovering the geometrical basis of the universe. He was the first person to state that the by using two eye, depth can be perceived and that the refraction is the reason for the vision in eyes. He even went on to create the eyeglasses for farsightedness and nearsightedness.
FACTS YOU PROBABLY DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT KEPLER
– His discoveries made the sun centred system (as said by Nicolaus Copernicus) turn into a dynamic universe having the planets being pushed around in the non-circular orbits by the sun.
– Kepler lost his position and salary. Owing to the Thirty Years Way in 1618, Kepler got exempted from a decree banishing all the Protestants from the province. A peasant rebellion and a fire destroyed his “Rudolphine Tables” printed version which was later published in 1627. He had to leave Linz and hence lot his position and salary.
– His mother was accused of being a witch during 1615-1616 but was set free owing to successful defence by her son Jahannes.
– In his honour, NASA named a mission of theirs. It was launched on 6th March, 2009 and it involved searching other Earth-like planets with high-tech telescope.