We all know about our universe thanks to various discoveries made by astronomers. Human beings have always been curious about the glory of Heavens above, since the beginning of recorded history. Although the awesome views offered by the clear sky at night has not changed a bit for many years, our understanding has. Our knowledge about the universe has gradually expanded due to the great efforts of astronomers. We also know our effect to the universe thanks to the scientific discoveries. Thanks to their important insights, these greatest astronomers have landed at the top 10 list.
These greatest astronomers are listed below.
10. Charles Messier
This was a French astronomer that was obsessed with discovery of comets and their orbits. This drove him to create one of the most famous catalogs of deep sky objects. He distinguished these sky objects into immobile objects so as not confuse other comet-chasers. Messier was lucky to discover 13 comets.
He was an astronomer, mathematician, and geographer from Egypt. He preserved the Greek astronomer’s Hipparchus star catalog. He included this in his Amalgest, an astronomical magnum opus. This was a test that existed for almost 1500 years after Ptolemy had died, essentially leading to the author gaining a legendary status in astronomy. The author work included a set of tables, that made it easier to calculate the positions of planets.
8. Tycho Brahe
He was a Danish astronomer with a metallic nose. He had very accurate observations and catalogued objects and aspired to a level of accuracy. He is widely known for his work with The new stars which was cutting-edge astronomy. Brahe observed a bright star that was seen as a newcomer onto The celestial scene. He was The first to scientifically observe a supernova.
7. Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson
Their contribution to The world of discoveries was a mutual effort. They discovered the Cosmic Microwave Background radiation. This was an aftershock of the explosive nature of our universe. After discovering the Big Bang, the two astronomers were awarded The Noble Prize for their discovery. Other important outcomes were the evidence for inflationary model of the universe.
6. Nicolaus Copernicus
He is credited since he put a comprehensive heliocentric version of the solar system. The revolutions of celestial Spheres were dedicated to the Pope. Copernicus is still remembered as a pillar of truth in a society largely unwilling to accept it.
5. William Herschel
Born in Germany in 1738, William was an astronomer and a talented musician. As a young teen, his passion for music paved his way to mathematics. Later, this interest in mathematics led him into astronomy, which is the field in which he is most famous for working. Herschel developed his own reflecting telescopes. He used these telescopes to see binary systems of stars, where two stars orbit around one center of gravity.
Herschel also discovered over 800 binary systems and 2400 deep sky objects known as nebulae. His many discoveries led him to planet Uranus, 2 moons of Saturn and 2 of Planet Uranus moons. Herschel discovered that The solar system moved through space and estimated its direction ofmovement.
4. Johannes Kepler
Kepler was the first astronomer to completely explain the movements of planets of our solar system. He explained their motion using three laws. He was able to let out the secrets since he imagined the planets as having elliptical orbits rather than circular ones. Kepler first law of planetary motion is simply that planets travel in ellipses. Kepler worked with Tycho Brahe although their friendship was strained. He made other great discoveries such as how the moon influenced tides and formed groundwork for integral calculus.
3. Edwin Hubble
He did most of his discoveries in the first half of 20th century. He discovered galaxies outside of the Milky Way. Through his struggle to solve this mystery, he worked with contributions from many scientists. Hubble demonstrated that these galaxies moved away from each other by looking at the red shifts; which is an effect brought about by light being stretched out to far and wide distance. The observations he made allowed him to see that the farther away a galaxy was from the Milky Way, then the faster it was moving away from us. This is what is known as The Hubble’s Law. Einstein thanked Hubble for the discoveries he made since they verified the work he had done years ago. He was often referred to as the “Father of Observational Cosmology”.
This astronomer who hails from Greece comes in at number 2. He is considered to be a legendary astronomer of antiquity. Hipparchus is often seen as one of the founding fathers of the field of astronomy. Among his major contributions was a star catalogue, which is believed to be what inspired him to create after he viewed a supernova. Later this catalogue was used extensively by Ptolemy for observations.
Hipparchus also discovered on the positions and motions of the sun and moon. He was able to know the distance to the moon during a solar eclipse. He also created the formula by which a stars’ brightness is measured and it is still used today.
1. Galileo Galilei
This Italian astronomer spearheaded the Scientific Revolution. He was in some sense a lucky astronomer; this is because he was fortunate to be alive when the telescope was first invented. He got a glimpse of this beautiful new device and later made his own telescope. This paved way for information on The Heavens. Since he was the first to capitalize on it.
Galileo turned his telescope to the sky and saw secrets that laid waiting In millennia. He is considered by many to be the father of modern observational astronomy. Galileo was the first to see The Rings of Saturn and also had the opportunity to name the various moons of Jupiter. He observed the rather important sunspots. He is well-known for his bold idea of heliocentric solar system. Galileo’s famous experiment was to observe the planet Venus and recorded the phases it would go through.
Every discovery whether small or big certainly had its worth in astronomy. Great astronomers not only make new discoveries but most importantly challenge the existing thought. These breathtaking ideas widen mankind’s knowledge about the universe.