Kepler: Man of Science, Man of God

Johannes Kepler: Life, Successes, Scientific Revolution

About Kepler

Full Name: Johannes Kepler

Born: 1pm, December 27th, 1571.

Place of Birth: Weil der Stadt, Wurttemberg.

Died: November 15th, 1630.

Place of Death: Regensburg, Germany.

Nickname/Usually goes by: Kepler, Johann

Ever since Kepler was young, he had a love for astronomy. Johann was lucky enough to witness the Great Comet of 1577, which sparked his ideas around the universe. His intelligence aided his way through schooling and from there he got a scholarship to the University of Tubingen. He studied Lutheran Ministry as his family was Lutheran. While studying, he had the chance to learn more about Copernicus which then influenced him in the sciences.


Kepler was an extraordinary man who achieved many things in his lifetime. He was a smart human with countless theories about the universe. Some of his more renowned discoveries and achievements were:

  • He believed that the tides were from the moon, and further explained that theory
  • Kepler came up with the date of Christ's birth, in modern day it is accepted
  • He explained the depth perception that happens in both eyes
  • All humans and their bodies have proportionate force to their mass
  • His theory was that the Sun moved about its axis.

These are the well known achievements of Kepler that are still used to this date.

Family Life

Although Kepler may have been thought to have a luxurious life, his family was actually quite poor. At the time, the Kepler's were going through a dark period. Johann was sick while going through childhood, filled with depression. At a very young age, he was diagnosed with chicken pox which made his eyes blurry and hands crippled. This made it hard to fully experiences eclipses or comets. Three of his siblings died due to illness at a very young age. Death was common in his family, other than his three siblings, unfortunately he lost his mother and son. He had a very arrogant grandfather, Sebaldus Kepler, who was the town mayor, as well as many invalids and criminals who were raising Kepler through childhood.

Impact on the Renaissance on the Modern Day

Kepler was the man who created the scientific revolution. Before the revolution, astronomy and astrology had no real comparison as they were both considered the same thing. According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of Astrology is "The study of how the positions of the stars and movements of the planets have a supposed influence on events and on the lives and behaviour of people." Merriam-Webster also states Astronomy as "The study of objects and matter outside the earth's atmosphere and of their physical and chemical properties." Kepler defined and separated both of these studies which are used today.

Kepler's "gift" to the world were the laws and theories that he came up with, also known as "Kepler's Laws", which are listed below. Not only did he create theories that are still currently appearing, but Johann also figured out how the telescope works and the mechanics behind the invention. We use telescopes often today, and he has made the job of astronomers, as well as people interested in the universe, easier. He has changed the way that people look at astronomy and physics in the Renaissance, modern day and likely the future as well.

Kepler's Laws

Kepler's Laws are based off the planets and how they move around the sun. There are three laws in total.

The first of three is that that the pathway of all of the planets that go about the sun is elliptical in its shape. The centre of the sun would be pinpoint at one main focus. This is also known as the "Law of Ellipses."

The second law is the "Law of Equal Areas". This law states that an imaginary line is shown from the centre of the sun to the planet. This is said to sweep out any equal areas in equal amounts of time.

The last law is known as the "Law of Harmonies". This states that the ratios of the squares of the periods of two planets and the cubes of their average length away from the sun are equal.

“I much prefer the sharpest criticism of a single intelligent man to the thoughtless approval of the masses.”-Kepler

Fun Facts

  • Kepler's spent years trying to help his mother as she was accused of witchcraft countless times.
  • He was the first person to ever write the genre of science fiction.
  • Kepler was considered to be the founder of modern optics as he discovered the eyeglass, commonly known as glasses, for near and far sightedness
  • NASA named one of their missions after Kepler, which was the planet-locating telescope
  • Other than his mother, his grandmother was sentenced to death in the Salem Witch Trials

Other Citations

Book: Everyday Life in the Seventeenth Century

By: Laurence Taylor in 1982