Throughout history, astronomers have been the people who have helped discover objects being our night sky. Behind such great inventions and innovations, many astronomers have achieved breakthrough inventions that have helped better the world of studying space and the universe.
Many centuries ago, it was said that the Earth was at the center of the solar system, and we have trodden a long path from that misconception. This article will discuss the famous astronomers who helped change our view of the universe today.
Earlier, people believed that the Earth was flat. Some people, unaware of the facts, even now believe that the Earth is flat. However, between 276 and 195 BC, Eratosthenes used the sun and measured the size of the round Earth. He gave the number 24,000 miles, which was only 211 miles off the actual measurement today.
In ancient Greece, a famous mathematician and astronomer Claudius Ptolemy developed a solar system model where the Earth was at the center and other planets revolved around it. Although this model was flat-out wrong, he also predicted the presence of constellations by looking at the night sky. He also named these constellations the names which are used even today. His writings and discoveries stood authoritative for over 1,200 years. However, its model fell out after the discovery of the Orion model with the sun in the center.
Nicolaus Copernicus was a 16th-century Poland astronomer who proposed the further defined solar system model, with the sun in the center and other planets revolving around it. Although it wasn’t entirely correct, based on the positions of other worlds, it still changed how people viewed the solar system.
Kepler was a Danish astronomer who depicted the right planetary movements around the sun. He said the planets didn’t revolve in circles but followed an elliptical path. Along with this, he also discovered three laws that govern planetary movements and their orbits, which are used even by astronomers today for their scientific calculations.
Galileo was famous for building the first optical telescope, improving studies to find out the truth about the universe’s predictions. He gained inspiration from various European discoveries, which magnified objects three times. Finally, in 1607, Galileo created the telescope, which was magnified 20 times. Using this, he discovered four moons of Jupiter, called Galileo’s moons, and the rings of Saturn.
After Galileo, the Dutch scientist improvised the existence of telescopes and discovered the theory of light travel in space, which baffled many scientists and astronomers. He also discovered the largest moon Titan and made other great astronomical discoveries. He was also the first person to draw predictions about the Orion Nebula.
Halley was a British scientist who discovered the historical comet sightings and proposed that the comets that occurred in 1456, 1531, and so on, 75 years apart, were all the same. Although he died before it arrived in 1758, he was proved correct, and the comet was named after him – Halley’s comet.