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Kepler, Johannes (Johnnes)

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Born: 1571 AD
Died: 1630 AD, at 58 years of age.

Nationality: German
Categories: Astronomers, Mathematicians

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1571 - Born on December 27th in Weil der Stadt, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. A German astronomer and mathematician who discovered Kepler's Three Laws of Planetary Motion (first law stating that planetary orbits are ellipses with sun at one focus.

1577 - Studied at Leonberg -- the year, as he himself tells us, of a great comet; but domestic bankruptcy occasioned his transference to field work, in which he was exclusively employed for several years.

1588 - A brilliant examination for the degree of bachelor procured him admittance on the foundation to the university of Tübingen, where he laid up a copious store of classical erudition, and imbibed Copernican principles from the private instructions of his teacher and lifelong friend, Michael Maestlin.

1595 - He notes with exultation the 9th of July, as the date of the pseudo-discovery, the publication of which in Prodromus Dissertationum Cosmographicarum seu Mysterium Cosmographicum (Tübingen) procured him much fame, and a friendly correspondence with the two most eminent astronomers of the time, Tycho Brahe and Galileo Galilei.

1600 - He received definitive notice to leave Graz, and, having leased his wife's property, he departed with his family for Prague.

1603-1606 - He dedicated to the emperor a treatise on the "great conjunction" of that year (Judicium de trigono igneo); and he published his observations on a brilliant star which appeared suddenly (September 30th), and remained visible for seventeen months, in De stella nova in pede Serpentarii (Prague).

1609 - The "great Martian labor" being at length completed, he was able, in his own figurative language, to lead the captive planet to the foot of the imperial throne.

         - He wrote "Astronomia Nova de Motibus Stellae Martis ex Observationibus Tychonis Brahe" (announcing first and second laws) and "Harmonice Mundi" (announcing third law).

1611 - He had welcomed with a little essay called Dissertatio cum Nuncio Sidereo Galileo's first announcement of celestial novelties; he now, in his Dioptrice (Augsburg), expounded the theory of refraction by lenses, and suggested the principle of the "astronomical" or inverting telescope.

         -The death by smallpox of his favorite child was followed by that of his wife, who, long a prey to melancholy, was on the 3rd of July carried off by typhus.

1612 - Retained his position as court astronomer, to accept the office of mathematician to the states of Upper Austria.

         - He was excommunicated from the Lutheran Church.

1617 - He declined the post of successor to G. A. Magini in the mathematical chair of Bologna.

1630 - He died on November 15th in Regensburg, Germany.

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Page last updated: 9:03pm, 16th Apr '07

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