Johannes Kepler

Life & Contributions to Science

Birth & Childhood

Johannes Kepler was born on December 27, 1571. At the time the place in which he was born was called the Free Imperial City of Weil der Stadt, which is now located in Stuttgart Region in the German state of Baden-Württemberg He had two brothers and one sister, they were fortunate but around the time Johann was born, his families wealth and good fortune began to decline. Johannes was weak and sickly as a child, yet his mother was a healer and his father was believed to have died in the Eighty Years War after leaving his family when Johannes was five years old. As a child he would often impress people with his mathematical ability. Johannes attended Latin school. In 1584 he entered the Protestant seminary at Adelberg, and in 1589 he began his college level education at the Protestant university of Tübingen.

Interest in Science

Kepler was exposed to astronomy at an early age, around six is when he observed the Great Comet of 1577. After this astronomy became a love of his that lasted his whole life. He also had the opportunity of watching a lunar eclipse. He studies theology and philosophy in college and became know for his mathematical and astrology skills. He studied theology not only as a university student, but as a graduate student as well. He enjoyed reading, and did it often.

Hardships throughout scientific career

Johannes lived with his grandparents in his childhood and described his parents with ill and unflattering words. After he studied at the University level Kepler moved to what is not an Australian Providence called Graz, remained in Graz until 1600, when all the Protestants were forced to convert to Catholicism or leave the province, he did this to Counter Reformation. Also during his career he faced The Martian problem, which Kepler said he would solve in eight days, took close to eight years. Along with the struggled with changes in the velocities of the planets. He realized that a planet moved slower when it was farther away from the sun than it did when nearby.

Major Contributions

Kepler realized that the planets traveled in ellipses. The sun didn't sit exactly at the center of every planets orbit,it sat at one of the two points known as the focus. Some planets,had an orbit that was very close to a circle, Like Earth. But the orbit of Mars was one of the most widely stretched. The fact that planets travel in ellipses is Kepler's First Law.

The changes in the velocities of the planets was another question Kepler struggled with.He realized that a planet moved slower when it was farther away from the sun. Once he understood that planets traveled in ellipses, he determined that an invisible line connecting the sun to a planet covered an equal amount of area over the same amount of time. This was published as his Second Law, along with his first, in 1609.

Kepler's Third Law was published a decade later, and showed that the relationship between the period of two planets, is connected to their distance from the sun. That the square of the ratio of the period of two plants is equal to the cube of the ratio of their radius. While his first two laws focus on a single planet's movement, his third is more about comaring the distance between the orbit of two planets.

Kepler's First Law


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