On this day in 4977 B.C., the universe was created, according to German mathematician and astronomer Johannes Kepler, considered a founder of modern science. Kepler is best known for his theories explaining the motion of planets.
Kepler was born on December 27, 1571, in Germany. At university, he studied the Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus’ theories. Copernicus (1473-1543) believed that the sun, not the earth, was the centre of the solar system. This theory contradicted the traditional view that the sun revolved around the earth.
In 1600, Kepler went to Prague to investigate the orbit of Mars. Over the next decade, Kepler learned about the work of Italian physicist and astronomer Galileo Galilei (1564-1642), who had invented a telescope with which he discovered lunar mountains and craters, the largest four satellites of Jupiter and the phases of Venus, among other things. Kepler corresponded with Galileo and eventually obtained a telescope of his own and improved upon the design.
Kepler’s research was not accepted during his lifetime, but was later a key influence on the English mathematician Sir Isaac Newton (1643-1727) and his law of gravitational force. He died on November 15, 1630, in Regensberg, Germany. As for Kepler’s calculation about the universe’s birthday, scientists in the 20th century developed the Big Bang theory, which showed that his calculations were incorrect by about 13.7 billion years.