(700 BC - 300 AD)
-Involved more math than physics and therefore was concidered a branch of mathematics.
-Astronomy was about time keeping. Events, such as the day would make a natural period of time and likewise the periodic phases of the moon made the next natural time span.
-Many times philosophers came up with ideas about the universe which were not based on the scientific method.
(1546 - 1601)
-Constructed a quadrant which was very accurate but was so big it required many servants to align, so only one observation could be made each night.
-Made observations of a new star in the costellation Casiopeia. The star is now usually known as 'Tycho's supernova'.
Information & Picture: http://www-history.mcs.st-and.ac.uk/Biographies/Brahe.html
Feb 15, 1564
(1564 - 1642)
-Discovered the moons of Jupiter, and the phases of Venus.
-Constructed a telescope superior to many othes at that time.
-Due to observation made with his new telescope he supported Copernicus' theory of a helicentric universe.
Information & Picture: http://www.lucidcafe.com/library/96feb/galileo.html
(1642 - 1727)
-Calculated the force needed to hold the moon in its orbit, compared with a force pulling an object towards the ground.
-Identified gravitation as the fundamental force that controlled the movement of planets in space. He also alculated the relative masses of planets from their gravitational forces.
-Explained that the tides and the equinoxes were from the forces exerted by the sun and moon.
Information & Picture: http://www.newton.ac.uk/newtlife.html
(1905 - 1973)
-Considered the father of modern planitary science.
-Discovered the Kuiper Belt which is a disk-shaped region of minor planets outside the orbit of Neptune that is a source of short-period comets.
-Was the chief scientist for the Ranger lunar probe program, and was responsible for choosing landing crash sites on the moon by analysing of Ranger photographs.
-He helped identify landing sites for the Surveyor and Apollo Programs.
Information & Picture: http://www.nnp.org/nni/Pub
(1910 - 1995)
-Studied stellar structures, including the theory of white dwarfs.
-Showed that a star with a mass greater than 1.4 times that of the Sun (now known as the Chandrasekhar's limit) had to end by collapsing into an object of enormous density unlike any object known at that time.
-Researched the mathematical theory of black holes.
Information & Picture: http://www-groups.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~history/Biographies/Chandrasekhar.html
(1911 - 2002)
-Built a radio telescope in his backyard.
-Used telescope to detect radio emissions from the Milky Way Galaxy.
-Used this information to produce contour maps of the Milky Way.
Information & Picture: http://www.nrao.edu/whatisra/hist_reber.shtml
(1915 - 2001)
-Rejected 'big bang' theory because he thought it could not have taken place unless space and time already existed. He propose a 'steady-state' universe in which matter is continually generated by some unknown mechanism.
-Established the Institute of Theoretical Astronomy at Cambridge University.
Information & Picture: http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/2615
E. Margaret Burbidge
(1919 - present)
-Studied the spectra of galaxies and nuclear reactions at the center of stars
-Improved the explanation of how elements are formed by nuclear reactions inside stars.
-Developed intsrumentation for the Hubble Telescope.
Information & Picture: http://www.nndb.com/people/692/000168188/
(1931 - 1980)
-Led the Lander Imaging Team for the Viking Mission to Mars.
-Is the author of "The Geology of the Moon: Startigraphic View", and the co-author of "The Geology of Mars."
-Taught planetary geology at Brown University.
Information & Picture: http://www.brown.edu/Departments/Geology/colloquia/mutch.html