Related topics: planets · nasa · spacecraft · stars · orbit

How many Earth-like planets are around sun-like stars?

A new study provides the most accurate estimate of the frequency that planets that are similar to Earth in size and in distance from their host star occur around stars similar to our Sun. Knowing the rate that these potentially ...

Flight by Light: Mission accomplished for LightSail 2

Mission accomplished: the Planetary Society announced Wednesday that its LightSail 2 spacecraft, which was launched last month, had successfully raised its orbit using only the power of photons from the Sun.

New exoplanet is smallest to be precisely measured

Earthlings have long daydreamed about faraway planets, but only recently have scientists been able to identify thousands of new exoplanets—and to learn more and more about what they look like.

Binary stars with unexplainable dimming pattern

A team of researchers from the U.S., Denmark and the U.K., working with a group at NASA's Ames Research Center, has found a binary star system that dims unpredictably. They have written a paper describing their findings and ...

The low density of some exoplanets is confirmed

The Kepler mission and its extension, called K2, discovered thousands of exoplanets. It detected them using the transit technique, measuring the dip in light intensity whenever an orbiting planet moved across the face of ...

Eighteen Earth-sized exoplanets discovered

Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (MPS), the Georg August University of Göttingen, and the Sonneberg Observatory have discovered 18 Earth-sized planets beyond the solar system. The worlds are ...

Two studies cast doubt on existence of exomoon

Two teams working independently have looked at the possibility of an exomoon circling the exoplanet Kepler-1625b, which orbits the star Kepler-1625. They report little to no evidence supporting its existence. One team, led ...

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Johannes Kepler

Johannes Kepler (pronounced /ˈkɛplər/) (December 27, 1571 – November 15, 1630) was a German mathematician, astronomer and astrologer, and key figure in the 17th century scientific revolution. He is best known for his eponymous laws of planetary motion, codified by later astronomers based on his works Astronomia nova, Harmonices Mundi, and Epitome of Copernican Astrononomy. They also provided one of the foundations for Isaac Newton's theory of universal gravitation.

During his career, Kepler was a mathematics teacher at a seminary school in Graz, Austria, an assistant to astronomer Tycho Brahe, the court mathematician to Emperor Rudolf II, a mathematics teacher in Linz, Austria, and an adviser to General Wallenstein. He also did fundamental work in the field of optics, invented an improved version of the refracting telescope (the Keplerian Telescope), and helped to legitimize the telescopic discoveries of his contemporary Galileo Galilei.

Kepler lived in an era when there was no clear distinction between astronomy and astrology, but there was a strong division between astronomy (a branch of mathematics within the liberal arts) and physics (a branch of natural philosophy). Kepler also incorporated religious arguments and reasoning into his work, motivated by the religious conviction that God had created the world according to an intelligible plan that is accessible through the natural light of reason. Kepler described his new astronomy as "celestial physics", as "an excursion into Aristotle's Metaphysics", and as "a supplement to Aristotle's On the Heavens", transforming the ancient tradition of physical cosmology by treating astronomy as part of a universal mathematical physics.

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