Johannes Kepler

Considered a pioneer in astronomy, Johannes Kepler is best known for his three laws of planetary motion. The first and most famous law states that planets orbit in ellipses, not in circles, as was the common belief at the time. Kepler worked as an assistant to the Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe until Brahe's death in 1601. Kepler's first two laws were based on Brahe's precise measurements of Mars' orbit.

Date of Birth: December 27, 1571
Date of Death: November 15, 1630
Hometown: Weil der Stadt, Germany
Position: mathematician, astronomer
Education: University of Tuebingen
Known for: three laws of planetary motion
Other accomplishments: first to explain how the telescope works and that tides are caused by the Moon

Image credits: main image: Tony Persiani.