Into the Eyes of Astronomy

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    Ancient Astronomy

    Ancient Astronomy
    Real Date: 384 BC • Greek astronomy is understood to include the ancient Greek, Hellenistic, Greco-Roman, and Late Antiquity eras. • This phase of Greek astronomy is also known as Hellenistic astronom, while the pre-Hellenistic phase is known as Classical Greek astronomy • Most of the constellations of the northern hemisphere derive are taken from Greek astronomy, as are the names of many stars and planets.
  • 200


    Born: 384 BC
    Died: 322 BC • Greek philosopher • His works contain the earliest known formal study of logic, which was incorporated in the late 19th century into modern formal logic. • He founded logic as a formal science and created foundations to biology that were not superseded for two millennia.
  • 200

    Aristarchus of Samos

    Aristarchus of Samos
    Born: 310 BC
    Died: 230 BC • The first to suggest that the earth revolved on an axis and moved around the sun. His ideas were not accepted until the 1500’s. • Formulated plainly the heliocentric theory
  • 200


    Born: 276 BC
    Died: 195 BC • Greek mathematician, elegiac poet, athlete, geographer, astronomer, and music theorist. • First person to use the word "geography" and invented the discipline of geography as we understand it. • He invented a system of latitude and longitude.
  • 200


    Born: 572 BC
    Died: 492 • Known for his pythagorean theorem. • He is often revered as a great mathematician, mystic and scientist.
  • 200


    Born: 190 BC
    Died :120 BC • He developed trigonometry and constructed trigonometric tables, and he has solved several problems of spherical trigonometry. • First whose quantitative and accurate models for the motion of the Sun and Moon survive.
  • Feb 19, 1473


    Born: 19 February, 1473
    Died: 24 May, 1543 • Renaissance astronomer • First person to formulate a comprehensive heliocentric cosmology, which displaced the Earth from the center of the universe.
  • Dec 14, 1546

    Tycho Brahe

    Tycho Brahe
    Born: 14 December, 1546
    Died: 24 October, 1601 • Danish nobleman • Known for his accurate and comprehensive astronomical and planetary observations. • He refuted the theory of the celestial spheres by showing the celestial heavens were not in an immutable or unchanging state of perfection. • No one before Tycho had attempted to make so many planetary observations.
  • Feb 15, 1564

    Galileo Galilei

    Galileo Galilei
    Born: 15 February, 1564
    Died: 8 January, 1642 • Italian physicist, mathematician, astronomer and philosopher • His achievements include improvements to the telescope and consequent astronomical observations, and support for Copernicanism. • Galileo has been called the "father of modern observational astronomy,” the "father of modern physics", the "father of science” and "the Father of Modern Science".
  • Dec 27, 1571

    Johannes Kepler

    Johannes Kepler
    Born: 27 December, 1571
    Died: 15 November, 1630 • Key figure in the 17th century scientific revolution. • Best known for his eponymous laws of planetary motion. • Invented an improved version of the refracting telescope (the Keplerian Telescope).
  • Isaac Newton

    Isaac Newton
    Born: 4 January, 1643
    Died: 31 March, 1727 • English physicist, mathematician, astronomer, natural philosopher, alchemist, and theologian • Described universal gravitation & laws, which dominated the scientific view of the physical universe for the next three centuries. • Creator or Newton’s laws of motion. • "Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy"; usually called the Principia), published in 1687, is one of the most important scientific books ever written.
  • Annie Jump Cannon

    Annie Jump Cannon
    Born: 11 December, 1863
    Died: 13 April, 1941 • American astronomer whose cataloging work was instrumental in the development of contemporary stellar classification. • Credited with the creation of the Harvard Classification Scheme. • First serious attempt to organize and classify stars based on their temperatures.
  • Henrietta Swan Leavitt

    Henrietta Swan Leavitt
    Born: 4 July, 1868
    Died: 12 December, 1921 • Leavitt's discovery of the period-luminosity relation of Cepheid variables radically changed the theory of modern astronomy. • The accomplishments of Edwin Hubble, renowned American astronomer, were made possible by Leavitt's groundbreaking research and Leavitt's Law.
  • Albert Einstein

    Albert Einstein
    Born: 14 March, 1879
    Died: 18 April, 1955 • German-born theoretical physicist who discovered the theory of general relativity, effecting a revolution in physics. • Principle of relativity could also be extended to gravitational fields, and with his subsequent theory of gravitation in 1916, he published a paper on the general theory of relativity.
  • Edwin Hubble

    Edwin Hubble
    Born: November 20, 1889
    Died: September 28,1953 • Profoundly changed understanding of the universe by demonstrating the existence of galaxies other than our own, the Milky Way. • Hubble Space Telescope, which was so named in Edwin Hubble's honor. • First to show that the universe is expanding.
  • Bengt Georg Daniel Stromgren

    Bengt Georg Daniel Stromgren
    Born: January 21, 1908
    Died: July 4, 1987 • Danish astronomer and astrophysicist. • Bengt grew up in the professor's mansion surrounded with scientists, assistants, observers and guests. • He found the relative abundance of hydrogen to be nearly 70 %, and helium to be about 27 %. • He discovered the so-called Strömgren Spheres — huge interstellar shells of ionized hydrogen around stars.
  • Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar

    Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar
    Born: 19 October, 1910
    Died: 21 August, 1995 • Was an Indian-born American astrophysicist • Most notable work was the astrophysical Chandrasekhar limit. • The limit describes the maximum mass of a white dwarf star, ~1.44 solar masses, or equivalently, the minimum mass, above which a star will ultimately collapse into a neutron star or black hole (following a supernova).
  • Grote Reber

    Grote Reber
    Born: 22 December, 1911
    Died: 20 December, 2002 • Amateur astronomer and pioneer of radio astronomy • Reber's radio telescope – 1937 - built his own radio telescope and sold it to the National Bureau of Standards later. • Discovered the standard theory of radio emissions from space was that they were due to black-body radiation, light (of which radio is a non-visible form) that is given off by all hot bodies.
  • James Van Allen

    James Van Allen
    Born: 7 September, 1914
    Died: 9 August, 2006 • American space scientist at the University of Iowa. • 1942: Van Allen joined the Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) of Johns Hopkins University to continue his work on proximity fuzes. • First to devise a balloon-rocket combination that lifted rockets on balloons high above most of Earth’s atmosphere before firing them even higher.
  • Sir Fred Hoyle

    Sir Fred Hoyle
    Born: 24 June, 1915
    Died: 20 August, 2001 • His contribution to the theory of stellar nucleosynthesis. • He rejected the "Big Bang" theory and chemical evolution. • Became a staunch critic of theories of chemical evolution.
  • E. Margaret Burbidge

    E. Margaret Burbidge
    Born: August 12, 1919
    Died: Still alive • English astrophysicist • After receiving her PhD in 1943, she started to research galaxies by linking a spectrograph to telescopes. • One of the first to measure the masses and rotation curves of galaxies and was one of the pioneers in the study of quasars. • At UCSD she also helped develop the faint object spectrograph in 1990 for the Hubble Space Telescope.
  • Eugene Shoemaker

    Eugene Shoemaker
    Born: 28 April, 1928
    Died: 18 July, 1997 • American geologist • Was one of the founders of the fields of planetary science. • Best known for co-discovering the Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 with his wife Carolyn Shoemaker and David Levy.
  • Thomas Mutch

    Thomas Mutch
    • Born: 26 August, 1931
    • Died: 6 October, 1980 • American geologist and planetary scientist • Published two books about the geology of the Moon and of Mars. • A crater on Mars was named in his honor.
  • George Hale

    George Hale
    Born: 29 June, 1868
    Died: 21 February, 1938 • American solar astronomer • Known for inventing the spectroheliograph. • Discoveries of the solar vortices and magnetic fields of sun spots. • Found a number of significant astronomical observatories, including Yerkes Observatory, Mount Wilson Observatory, Palomar Observatory, and the Hale Solar Laboratory.
  • Gerard Kuiper

    Gerard Kuiper
    Born: 7 December, 1905
    Died: 24 December, 1973 • Dutch-American astronomer • Discovered two natural satellites of planets in the solar system, namely Uranus's satellite Miranda and Neptune's satellite Nereid. • He discovered carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of Mars. • Existence of a methane-laced atmosphere above Saturn's satellite Titan in 1944.