In 1597, a man named Johannes Kepler was born in Weil der Stadt, Germany.
He would go on to teach and live in the city of Graz for most of his life. In 1607 he published his first work about “the shape of planetary orbits.” Kepler’s scientific observations were essential to understanding gravity and our solar system. In fact, it is because of him that we know that there are a total of eight planets! In 1618, he finally published his famous work “Astronomia Nova” which revealed that the planets orbit the sun in ellipses. This observation also helped other astronomers understand why comets sometimes appeared out of nowhere and then disappeared just as quickly! The last years of Kepler’s life were peppered with controversy over what was discovered after Rudolphine tables (computed by Tycho Brahe) were released for publication. Despite this, he went on to publish a new set of astronomical laws called “Rudolphine Tables.” It is because of these discoveries that we know how long it takes Mercury to orbit around the sun or what Saturn’s surface looks like at different points during its rotation cycle. Ke