Famous Space Scientists
In this section we will delve into the lives and the life works of the most famous scientists of all time, and what makes them so great, because they are truly amazing people.
Nicolaus Copernicus was born in Torun in Poland in 1473. Copernicus was very important to astronomy as he basically changed the way people thought about it. Well eventually. Through his studies Copernicus was the first person to theorize that the Earth wasn’t in fact the centre of the universe, where everything revolved around the Earth; instead he concluded that the Sun was in fact at the centre of the universe and that all the planets revolved around the sun. He was half right because we now know so much more about everything outside of our own solar system, but people didn’t believe him and called him crazy. It wasn’t for another 300 years that people started to realize that Copernicus was right about the planets revolving around the sun. Copernicus truly is the father of astronomy and was a great man for his ideas.
Famous Quote: For it is the duty of an astronomer to compose the history of the celestial motions through careful and expert study.
Fun Facts for Kids: Copernicus has an element on the periodic table named after him called ‘Copernicium’
Q&A: How long did it take for people to start believing in Copernicus’s theories? Answer. 300 years
Galileo Galilei was born in Pisa in Italy in 1564. Galileo was a great scientist and astronomer who developed modern astronomy. He has been credited as the father on modern science. Galileo has also been credited with the Law of Constant Acceleration; however what Galileo is most famous for is the invention of the first space telescope by taking the design of the existing land telescope and making it more powerful. Galileo started to study and discover the stars, and while studying Jupiter he discovered that Jupiter had 4 main moons that hadn’t been discovered before. These moons are now called Galilean Moons. Galileo also made great discoveries of Venus and Earth’s moon, but a lot of people disagreed with Galileo, and like Copernicus people didn’t believe his ideas and theories. His work however has stood the test of time, with many of his theories proven fact. He really is the father of modern science.
Famous Quote: The sun, with all those planets revolving around it and dependent on it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as if it had nothing else in the universe to do.
Fun Facts for Kids: Alert Einstein was a big fan of Galileo, studying his work in great detail.
Q&A: What are the Moons that were discovered by Galileo known as? Answer. Galilean Moons
Johannes Kepler was born in Weil Der Stadt in Germany in 1571, and was first and foremost a famous mathematician and later a famous astronomer who believed very much so in Copernicus’s ideas that the planets revolved around the sun and not the Earth. And with that he also went one theory further and through much study stated that not only do the planets revolve around the sun but that they revolve around the sun in an oval shape called an elliptical orbit. This was one of the 3 laws of planetary motion that made Johannes Kepler so well known. Later in life, Johannes Kepler also studied law and become a lawyer. Kepler was a very intelligent man like all scientists and was a man of many talents.
Famous Quote: Planets move in ellipses with the sun at one focus.
Fun Facts for Kids: Launched by NASA in March 2009, the Kepler space observatory is a space telescope that was named after Johannes Kepler.
Q&A: Who invented the laws of planetary motion? Answer. Johannes Kepler.
Sir Isaac Newton
Sir Isaac Newton is a very famous scientist amongst many other things throughout his very eventful life and career. Sir Isaac Newton was born in 1643 in Woolsthorpe, Lincolnshire England. Newton was a renowned professor of mathematics of the university of Cambridge. Newton is one of the pioneers of astronomy, and is largely credited with the discovery of gravity, and also the theories on the laws of motion, which is F=MA. Newton is said to have discovered gravity when he watched an apple falling from a tree, where he connected that the apple coming from the tree and hitting the ground was due to the force of gravity.
Famous Quote: If I have seen further it is only by standing on the shoulders of giants.
Fun Facts for Kids: Newton made the discovery of the laws of gravity at the age of 23.
Q&A: What was Sir Isaac Newton a professor of at the university of Cambridge? Answer. Mathematics
Albert Einstein is one of the world’s most famous scientists, if not the most famous! Albert Einstein was born in Ulm in Germany in 1879. Einstein moved to Switzerland at a very young age. At the start of the 20 century Einstein published papers that were to change physics forever. Not right away but eventually. In particular he published a paper on Matter & Energy which gave birth to the very famous equation, E=MC2. Which stands for Energy = Mass times the speed of light squared.
Otherwise known as the theory of relativity, which is the relationship between Matter & Energy.
At the time not many people if anybody understood his famous theory, however Einstein was very well respected for his work and other theories and ideas, and has been one of the most influential people not only in science, but in history.
Famous Quote: The process of scientific discovery is, in effect, a continual flight from wonder.
Fun Facts for Kids: 1921 Albert Einstein won the Noble Prize for Physics.
Q&A: What is Einstein’s most famous equation? Answer. E=MC2
Edwin Hubble was a famous American astronomer, who was born in Missouri, US in 1889. Hubble discovered that the universe was expanding at an astronomical rate beyond our own galaxy. The discovery is now known as ‘Hubble’s Law’
It was obvious that Hubble would be one of the main figures in astronomy, as he took to it at such an early age. Hubble received his first telescope at the age of eight, and began to discover space for himself. And it is so important that he did, as Hubble has become one of the most influential astronomers in history through his very important work. So important, that the famous Hubble telescope was named after the great man.
Famous Quote: We find them smaller and fainter, in constantly increasing numbers, and we know that we are reaching into space, farther and farther, until, with the faintest nebulae that can be detected with the greatest telescopes; we arrive at the frontier of the known universe.
Fun Facts for Kids: Hubble was a major in the American army in World War 1.
Q&A: Who is the Hubble telescope named after? Answer. Edwin Hubble.