The Stars of The Stars Museum
Astronomers of the Renaissance
Exhibit on Astronomers of the Renaissance
Exhibit on astronomers who were alive during the time 1350-1650 AD and what they contributed to the scientific revolution.
Tycho Brache was a Danish astronomer who was know for his famous discoveries in the late 1500s. Brache accounted for hundreds of objects and at a high level of accuracy. He didn't always achieve a high level of accuracy, but for the most part Brache was within one arc-minute of the stars' location. An arc-minute, in perspective, is equivalent to when you stick your pinkie finger out at arms length and you split that finger into 60 pieces width wise. One of the tiny 60 pieces is an arc-minute. With the lack of technology at the time makes that very impressive.
Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543) was a European astronomer who was known for being the first astronomer to put forward an understandable heliocentric, sun centered, version of the solar system. Copernicus's theory of the sun being at the center of the universe and the earth moving around the sun went against church teachings. Copernicus feared persecution from religious authorities so he dedicated his book On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres to Pope Paul III. When Copernicus's book came out the theory of the sun being at the center of the solar system could no longer be simply brushed away or ignored, for that Copernicus will be remebered as a monument to the truth in a society largely unwilling to except it.
Johannes Kepler was a German astronomer who was know from being the first person to fully explain the motion of the planets of our solar system in three laws. The first law was simply planets travel in ellipses not circles around the sun. The theory of a heliocentric solar system was against church teachings, but Kepler was very religious. Kepler was planning on becoming a priest but chose science instead. Kepler not only was the first person to fully explain the motion of the planets of our solar system, but Kepler also was the first to explain how the moon influenced tides. Kepler also influenced mathematics by forming some of the ground work for integral calculus.
Galileo Galilei was a Italian astronomer who was known for; being the first to lay eyes on the Rings of Saturn, discovering and naming multiple moons of Jupiter, and being the first to observe that the sun had sunspots. At the time it was believed by the church that the sun was perfect and with out blemishes of any kind and that the Earth was in the center of the solar system not the sun. Galileo had a strong argument for the theory of a heliocentric solar system regardless of religious persecution he was subject to. Galileo ended up living the last seven years of his life under house arrest for his heretical views. Yet Galileo is know today as the farther of modern observational astronomy and physics.