European Renaissance Astronomers

Check their galleries out at the European Renaissance Museum

What is the European Renaissance Museum?

The European Renaissance Museum, located in St. Peter, Minnesota, is a great place to come and learn about the European Renaissance. Right now we are featuring a really neat and interactive gallery focusing on the astronomers of the European Renaissance.

Here is a preview of what you might find inside.


Galileo was an Italian scientist who some refer to as the "father of modern astronomy." He was the first to discover that Jupiter's moons orbit around the planet itself, like the Earth revolves around the Sun. He also defended the heliocentric idea, which inspired him to write a book called Dialogue Concerning the Two World Systems, which Pope Urban II forced him to recant because it supposedly went against the Bible's idea that the heavens were fixed and perfect. Galileo recanted them, but he was still put on trial and convicted of heresy and sentenced to house arrest.

Nicholas Copernicus

Nicholas Copernicus was a Polish astronomer and mathemitician whose crowning achievement came towards the end of his life when he was the first to even suggest the idea that the planets revolved around the Sun in his book On the Revolutions of Celestial Spheres. It was a revolutionary new idea, which is why we can truly call him a Renaissance man.

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A picture of Nicholas Copernicus

Tycho Brahe

Brahe was a Danish nobleman who was also well-known as an astronomer. He was interestingly the last of the naked eye astronomers, meaning without using a telescope. Brahe discovered that new stars were not tailless comets but rather above our atmosphere. He was also assisted by Johannes Kepler later in his life.

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A picture of Tycho Brahe

Johannes Kepler

Johannes Kepler was a German astronomer who played a key part in the 17th century scientific revolution. He is most well known for his laws of planetary motion. He assisted Tycho Brahe towards the end of his life and developed his laws of planetary motion from his ideas. Kepler also was advisor to Emperor Rudolph II at one point.

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A picture of Johannes Keppler.