- JOHANNES KEPLER - Fun Facts | BoysJoys


Johannes Kepler (December 27, 1571 – November 15, 1630) was a German mathematician, astronomer and astrologer. A key figure in the 17th century scientific revolution, he is best known for his eponymous laws of planetary motion, codified by later astronomers, based on his works Astronomia nova, Harmonices Mundi, and Epitome of Copernican Astronomy. These works also provided one of the foundations for Isaac Newton's theory of universal gravitation.

During his career, Kepler was a mathematics teacher at a seminary school in Graz, Austria, where he became an associate of Prince Hans Ulrich von Eggenberg. Later he became an assistant to astronomer Tycho Brahe, and eventually the imperial mathematician to Emperor Rudolf II and his two successors Matthias and Ferdinand II. He was also a mathematics teacher in Linz, Austria, and an adviser to General Wallenstein. Additionally, he did fundamental work in the field of optics, invented an improved version of the refracting telescope (the Keplerian Telescope), and mentioned the telescopic discoveries of his contemporary Galileo Galilei.

Kepler lived in an era when there was no clear distinction between astronomy and astrology, but there was a strong division between astronomy (a branch of mathematics within the liberal arts) and physics (a branch of natural philosophy). Kepler also incorporated religious arguments and reasoning into his work, motivated by the religious conviction and belief that God had created the world according to an intelligible plan that is accessible through the natural light of reason. Kepler described his new astronomy as "celestial physics", as "an excursion into Aristotle's Metaphysics", and as "a supplement to Aristotle's On the Heavens", transforming the ancient tradition of physical cosmology by treating astronomy as part of a universal mathematical physics.

  • Johannes Kepler was a very frail child from birth. He contracted smallpox in his youth, which severely affected his vision. Young Kepler also suffered from various other illnesses, including Hypochondria.

  • Kepler was fascinated with the night sky at an early age of six. The Great Comet of 1577 left him completely spellbound. At age of nine, Kepler observed the lunar eclipse of 1580.

  • He had a deep interest in astrology, though he had many doubts about its laws and foundations. He was shrewd and used astrology to influence his friends and distinguished noblemen. Kepler was popular for casting horoscopes for his friends and family while studying in the Tubingen University. During his teaching years in 1594 (in Graz, Styria, Austria), Kepler had to make astrological predictions as part of his “professorship duties”. Although he was not interested in making predictions, he correctly predicted the invasion by the Turks, the peasant uprising and a very cold winter in 1595

  • A rare astrological conjunction in 1604 helped Kepler calculate Christ’s birth. This calculation is universally accepted today.

  • There have been many books written on Kepler’s laws of planetary motion. However there were some whimsical non-fictional books written including the controversial non-fiction work Heavenly Intrigue (2004, Joshua and Anne Lee Gilder), which revealed that Kepler murdered Tycho Brahe and republished his works in his own name.

  • He created horoscopes for his fellow students.

  • NASA’s 2009 Kepler Mission was named after Johannes Kepler for his key role and contributions to astronomy.

  • His work on planetary motion helped Isaac Newton later devise his own theory of universal gravitation.Some of Kepler's famous work includes: Mysterium cosmographicum (The Sacred Mystery of the Cosmos -1596), Astronomia nova (New Astronomy - 1609), Harmonice Mundi (Harmony of the Worlds - 1619) and Epitome astronomiae Copernicanae (Epitome of Copernican Astronomy - published between 1618 and 1621).