Johannes Kepler: Planetary Motion Essay

1422 words - 6 pages

Johannes Kepler: Planetary Motion
When one first thinks to astronomy, the first thing to come to mind might be the stars of the planets. It is always a fascinating thing to learn about the stars, but one should always start from somewhere when learning. One person’s research that is always going to be remembered is that of Johannes Kepler. He is not only the founder of contemporary astronomy but also an amazing mathematician. He was the first person to enlighten us on the theory of planetary motion. His three laws on planetary motion were a basis on Isaac Newton’s theory of universal gravitation. One of his books was the foundation of integral calculus and he advanced geometry. His research has been a huge influence on all kinds of things that we have today. He is such an important part of scientific history that NASA named a mission after him, which is a mission that involves telescopes in search for habitable planets outside of our solar system.
Kepler was born on 27 December 1571 in the First Imperial City of Weil der Stadt, Germany.. His father was Heinrich Kepler, a mercenary (Caspar 29). His mother, Katharina Guldenmann, was the daughter of an inn-keeper and was tried for witchcraft for he practices in healing and herbology (Connor 13). When he was at school, he was his happiest. School allowed him to nourish his mind in a way he did not get at home. He at first attended a German school, but later attended a Latin school that was formed to educate the new generation of clergy. After almost completing the primary schooling, his parents moved, causing him to have to work instead of learn. His first love for astrology probably was due to his mother, who took young Kepler to a viewing of a comet. Also at a young age, Kepler witnessed a lunar eclipse. Both left a lasting impressions (Caspar 34-38).
Therefore, after finally completing his schooling, Kepler went on to the University of Tübingen, where he studied philosophy. He enjoyed his time at university to its fullest, using his educational opportunity to the highest of its ability. He enjoyed acting in theatrical plays and had an excellent reputation among his fellow students and teachers. For a long time at university, Kepler was blinded of his love for math and astronomy. That is, until Magister Michael Maestlin was able to awaken the sleeping dragon within him. Maestlin was one of the best astronomers of his time. Though Maestlin, Kepler learned of the Coprenican system of planetary motion. Even though he excelled in school, his dream was still to be in the church (Caspar 41-50).
Moreover, while struggling with is decisions with the church, Kepler’s life changed. With the death of the mathematician at the Protestant seminary in Graz, Kepler got nominated as the successor of the professor. Should he accept, he would become the new teacher of both mathematics and astronomy. This decision took a long time for Kepler to make. He has already had all of his...

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