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Johannes Kepler was born in Weil der Stadt, a city in Württemberg, on December 27, 1571. Kepler was the oldest of 7 kids put only 3 of his siblings survived childhood. He was precocious and lived in a tumultuous family. He was a sickly child but he had a brilliant mind. His family used to be in the nobility but over the generations, property and money began to dwindle away. He started studying in September of 1589 at the University of Tübingen to become a Lutheran Minister. He became an assistant in Prague to Tycho Brahe. When Brahe died Kepler took his position as the astrologer and astronomer to Rudolph II of Bohemia.
Johannes Kepler was a German astronomer. Johannes Kepler was convinced there was a set of ratios, similar to the set of numerical ratios that explained how to put together musical notes into harmonies, defining the movement of the heavenly bodies. He called this idea world harmony. His attempt to understand its inner workings led to him discovering his three laws of planetary motion. The laws gave theoretical support for the idea of a moving Earth and a Sun-centered universe. The first law is that all planets move in elliptical orbits with the sun. People used to think that they were circular but Kepler proved that the orbits were in fact elliptical not circular. The second law is when a planet has been moving for two periods of time that are the same amount, if you draw a line from the sun to the planet sweeps out equal areas when it has been moving for two identical periods of time. In simpler terms, the planet is moving faster when it is closer to the sun in its orbit. Finally, the third law is the farther away a planet or object is from the sun, the longer it takes to complete and orbit.
Did you know Brahe was suspicious of Kepler so he wouldn’t share his detailed notes? Brahe instead assigned Kepler to figure out why Mars appeared to walk backward on the sky. Kepler said the assignment would take 8 days but it took 8 years! Did you know Kepler played an important role in the scientific revolution? Kepler did many amazing things like creating horoscopes for other students!
Boerst, William J.
Johannes Kepler Discovering the Laws of Celestial Motion.
Greensboro: Morgan Reynolds, 2003. Print.
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Redd, Nola Taylor. “Johannes Kepler Biography” 21 May 2012. Web. 19 September 2013.
Tiner, John H.
Giant of Faith and Science Johannes Kepler
. Milford: Mott Media, 1977. Print.
Voelkel, James R.
Johannes Kepler and the New Astronomy
. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999. Print.
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