Astronomers

Kids have always looked up at the sky and wondered what those glimmering lights, lighting up the night sky are? Some of these kids grow fascinated by the glimmering lights and grow up to make these lights their life’s work. We call them astronomers; people who study the stars, planets, galaxies and even the asteroids. These scientists have existed for countless years and have made a considerable impact on the world we live in; it was the Mayan astronomers who gave us the famous Mayan calendar according to which, the world would have ended on the 21st of December 2012. It was astronomers who first suggested the theory that the earth revolved around the sun and not the other way around and the earth was not the center of the universe or our galaxy, for that matter. The invaluable work that astronomers do is dedicated to better understanding the universe, of which the earth is a part. This work has, at times, incurred the wrath of the people because at one time the understanding of the science was not as explicit as it is today and neither was the awareness about it.
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 1 Galileo Galilei

Galileo Galilei
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Famous As: Astronomer
Birthdate: February 15, 1564
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: Italian
Died: January 8, 1642

An Italian astronomer, engineer, and physicist, Galileo Galilei is widely regarded as the father of observational astronomy, the father of the scientific method, the father of modern physics, and the father of modern science. He is credited with popularizing the telescope, which changed the course of history.

 2 Aryabhata

Aryabhata
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Birthdate: 0476 AD
Nationality: Indian
Died: 0550 AD
Indian mathematician and astronomer Aryabhata pioneered the concept of “zero” and used it in his “place value system.” He had also worked on the approximation of pi and laid down the basic concepts of trigonometry, such as sine and cosine. He also mentioned that the Earth rotates on its axis.

 3 Nicolaus Copernicus

Nicolaus Copernicus
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Birthdate: February 19, 1473
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: Polish
Died: May 24, 1543

Nicolaus Copernicus was a mathematician and astronomer. He is credited with formulating Heliocentrism, which led to the Copernican Revolution. Although Aristarchus of Samos had formulated Heliocentrism 18 centuries earlier, Copernicus was responsible for popularizing it. Copernicus is also credited with formulating an economic principle, which was later called Gresham's law.

 4 Archimedes

Archimedes
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Famous As: Mathematician, Engineer, Inventor, Physicist, Astronomer
Birthdate: 0287 BC
Nationality: Greek
Died: 0212 BC
Greek mathematician, physicist, and astronomer Archimedes is remembered for his contribution to mathematics, especially geometry. He laid down theorems related to the area of a circle, and the area and volume of a sphere, and reached an accurate value of pi. He also invented machines such as the screw pump.
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 5 Carl F. Gauss

Carl F. Gauss
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Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: April 30, 1777
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: German
Died: February 23, 1855

German mathematician and physicist Carl Friedrich Gauss is remembered for his work in math and science. Known as the Princeps mathematicorum, he laid down tenets such as the Gauss's Law. He had exhibited his talent since an early age and had completed writing Disquisitiones Arithmeticae by 21.

 6 Avicenna

Avicenna
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Famous As: Persian Plymath
Birthdate: 0980 AD
Died: May 31, 1037
Renowned as father of early modern medicine, Avicenna was an illustrious Persian polymath. He is specifically distingusihed for his contributions in the fields of medicine and Aristotelian philisophy. He is best-known for his works namely, The Canon of Medicine and The Book of Healing. The corpus of his writings also include alchemy, geology, psychology, geography, physics, poetry and Islamic theology.
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 7 Carl Sagan

Carl Sagan
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Famous As: Astronomer, Astrophysicist, Writer
Birthdate: November 9, 1934
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: American
Died: December 20, 1996
Pulitzer- and Emmy-winning astrophysicist and author Carl Sagan was best known for co-writing the TV series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage. His novel Contact was adapted into a film. He was known for his extensive research on extra-terrestrial life, had taught at major universities, and written countless papers and science books.
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 8 Claudius Ptolemy

Claudius Ptolemy
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Famous As: Astronomer, Cartographer & Mathematician
Birthdate: 0090 AD
Nationality: Ancient Roman
Died: 0168 AD
Claudius Ptolemy was a 2nd-century mathematician, astronomer, astrologer, and geographer, who had written a number of scientific treatises, such as The Great Treatise, Geography, and the Tetrábiblos. He lived in Alexandria under the Roman rule in Egypt. He had also authored Harmonics, a book on music theory.
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 9 Carl Friedrich Gauss

Carl Friedrich Gauss
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Famous As: Mathematician, Geophysicist, Astronomer, Science writer, Physicist, Geodesist, University teacher
Birthdate: April 30, 1777
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: German
Died: February 23, 1855

 10 Johannes Kepler

Johannes Kepler
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Famous As: Astronomer, Mathematician & Astrologer
Birthdate: December 27, 1571
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: German
Died: November 15, 1630

This 17th-century German mathematician, astronomer, and astrologer is remembered for his pathbreaking work on optics. He invented a developed version of the refracting telescope. He also laid down Kepler's laws of planetary motion and wrote Astronomia Nova, Harmonices Mundi, and Epitome Astronomiae Copernicanae.

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 11 Robert Hooke

Robert Hooke
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Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: July 28, 1635
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: British
Died: March 3, 1703

Scientist Robert Hooke, also called England's Leonardo, initially gained recognition as an architect, conducting surveys following the Great Fire of London. He also taught geometry and was part of the Royal Society. He assisted Robert Boyle and eventually developed his own microscope, thus becoming the first to visualize micro-organisms.

 12 Hypatia

Hypatia
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Famous As: Mathematician, Philosopher, Astronomer, Writer
Birthdate: 0370 AD
Nationality: Ancient Roman
Died: 0415 AD
Hypatia was a Hellenistic Neoplatonist philosopher, mathematician, and astronomer who lived during the 4th and 5th centuries. She also taught and served as a counselor. She is remembered for her commentary on Diophantus's Arithmetica. She was later murdered and became a symbol of feminism and of opposition to Catholic ideals.
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 13 Tycho Brahe

Tycho Brahe
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Famous As: Astronomer
Birthdate: December 14, 1546
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: Danish
Died: October 24, 1601
Danish astronomer and writer Tycho Brahe, an heir to a noble family, was one of the last greatest naked-eye astronomers. According to the Tychonic system of astronomy, the Sun orbited the Earth. His assistant Johannes Kepler used Tycho's astronomical data to form his laws of planetary motion.

 14 Omar Khayyam

Omar Khayyam
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Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: May 18, 1048
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: Iranian
Died: December 4, 1131
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 15 Georges Lemaître

Georges Lemaître
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Famous As: Scientist & Priest
Birthdate: July 17, 1894
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: Belgian
Died: June 20, 1966

Georges Lemaître was a mathematician, astronomer, and professor of physics. Lemaître was the first person to theorize that the expansion of the universe can be used to explain the recession of nearby galaxies. In 1927, Lemaître published the first estimation of the Hubble constant. He also came up with the Big Bang theory to explain the origin of the universe.

 16 Muḥammad ibn Mūsā al-Khwārizmī

Muḥammad ibn Mūsā al-Khwārizmī
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Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: 0780 AD
Nationality: Persian
Died: 0850 AD

 17 Edwin Powell Hubble

Edwin Powell Hubble
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Famous As: Astronomer & Mathematician
Birthdate: November 20, 1889
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: American
Died: September 28, 1953

 18 Brahmagupta

Brahmagupta
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Famous As: Mathematician and Astronomer
Birthdate: 0598 AD
Nationality: Indian
Died: 0670 AD
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 19 Pierre-Simon Laplace

Pierre-Simon Laplace
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Famous As: Scientist
Birthdate: March 23, 1749
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: French
Died: March 5, 1827

Though French scholar Pierre-Simon Laplace is primarily known for his work on the solar system, his research extended to areas such as mathematics and physics, apart from astronomy. Widely known as the Newton of France, he escaped being executed during the French Revolution, owing to his lack of political views.

 20 Benjamin Banneker

Benjamin Banneker
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Famous As: Compiler of Almanacs
Birthdate: November 9, 1731
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: American
Died: October 9, 1806

 21 William Herschel

William Herschel
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Famous As: Astronomer, Composer
Birthdate: November 15, 1738
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: German, British
Died: August 21, 1822

William Herschel was a German-born British astronomer and composer. He pioneered the use of astronomical spectrophotometry and discovered infrared radiation. Impressed by his work, King George III appointed him the Court Astronomer. Herschel often collaborated with his sister, Caroline Lucretia Herschel, a fellow astronomer. In 1816, he was made a Knight of the Royal Guelphic Order. 

 22 Walter Lewin

Walter Lewin
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Famous As: Astronomer, University teacher, Astrophysicist, Physicist
Birthdate: January 29, 1936
Sun Sign: Aquarius
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 23 Sir Christopher Wren

Sir Christopher Wren
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Famous As: Architect
Birthdate: October 20, 1632
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: British
Died: February 25, 1723

 24 Ibn-al-Haytham

Ibn-al-Haytham
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Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: July 1, 0965
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: Iraqi
Died: March 6, 1040

Ibn al-Haytham was an Arab mathematician, physicist, and astronomer of the Islamic Golden Age. He is best remembered for his contributions to the principles of optics for which he is called the father of modern optics. He was the first person to explain visual perception. A polymath, Ibn al-Haytham also wrote influential books on philosophy, medicine, and theology. 

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 25 Christiaan Huygens

Christiaan Huygens
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Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: April 14, 1629
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: Dutch
Died: July 8, 1695

From proposing the wave theory of light to discovering the actual shape of the rings of Saturn and inventing the pendulum clock, Dutch scientist Christiaan Huygens had contributed a lot to science. Born to a diplomat, Huygens had the privilege of an elite education but remain sickly throughout his life.

 26 James Glaisher

James Glaisher
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Famous As: Meteorologists
Birthdate: April 7, 1809
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: British
Died: February 7, 1903

 27 Caroline Herschel

Caroline Herschel
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Famous As: Astronomer
Birthdate: March 16, 1750
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: German
Died: January 9, 1848

 28 J. Allen Hynek

Josef Allen Hynek
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Famous As: Astronomer, Ufologist
Birthdate: May 1, 1910
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: American
Died: April 27, 1986
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 29 Aristarchus of Samos

Aristarchus of Samos
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Birthdate: 0000 BC
Nationality: Greek

 30 Edmond Halley

Edmond Halley
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Famous As: Astronomer
Birthdate: November 8, 1656
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: British
Died: January 14, 1742
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 31 Jocelyn Bell Burnell

Jocelyn Bell Burnell
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Famous As: Astronomer, Astrophysicist
Birthdate: July 15, 1943
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: British

 32 Jabir Ibn Hayyan

Jabir Ibn Hayyan
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Famous As: Alchemist
Birthdate: 0721 AD
Nationality: Iranian
Died: 0815 AD

Eighth-century alchemist and physician Jabir Ibn Hayyan has been credited with too many written works. Experts believe his vast works may not have been written by a single person. The Jabirian corpus, a collection of his works, is known for its "method of the balance" and its focus on chemistry.

 33 Joseph Louis Lagrange

Joseph Louis Lagrange
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Famous As: Mathematician and Astronomer
Birthdate: January 25, 1736
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: French, Italian
Died: April 10, 1813

 34 Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin

Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin
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Famous As: Astronomer, University teacher
Birthdate: May 10, 1900
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: British, American
Died: December 7, 1979

 35 Clyde Tombaugh

Clyde Tombaugh
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Famous As: Astronomer, University teacher
Birthdate: February 4, 1906
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: American
Died: January 17, 1997

 36 Hipparchus

Hipparchus
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Famous As: Astronomer & Mathematician
Birthdate: 0190 BC
Nationality: Greek
Died: 0120 BC
In his early years in Bithynia, Hipparchus spent most of his time compiling weather records. He devoted almost his entire life to astronomical research. Remembered as the man who founded trigonometry, he also discovered the precession of the equinoxes. However, most of his written work hasn’t survived.

 37 Fred Hoyle

Fred Hoyle
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Famous As: Astronomer
Birthdate: June 24, 1915
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: British
Died: August 20, 2001

 38 Mary Somerville

Mary Somerville
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Famous As: Mathematician, Linguist, Translator, Astronomer, Scientist
Birthdate: December 26, 1780
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: British, Scottish
Died: November 28, 1872

 39 Varahamihira

Varahamihira
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Famous As: Astronomer
Birthdate: 0505 AD
Nationality: Indian
Died: 0587 AD

 40 Vera Rubin

Vera Rubin
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Famous As: Astronomer
Birthdate: July 23, 1928
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: American
Died: December 25, 2016

 41 Arthur Eddington

Arthur Eddington
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Famous As: Astronomer
Birthdate: December 28, 1882
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: British
Died: November 22, 1944

 42 Jayant Narlikar

Jayant Narlikar
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Famous As: Physicist, Astronomer, Astrophysicist, Scientist, University teacher, Science fiction writer
Birthdate: July 19, 1938
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: Indian

 43 Sir William Rowan Hamilton

Sir William Rowan Hamilton
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Famous As: Physicist, Astronomer and Mathematician
Birthdate: August 4, 1805
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: Irish
Died: September 2, 1865

 44 Johann Georg Faust

Johann Georg Faust
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Famous As: astrologer, astronomer
Birthdate: 1480 AD
Nationality: German
Died: 1540 AD

 45 Max Tegmark

Max Tegmark
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Famous As: Physicist, Astronomer, Astrophysicist
Birthdate: May 5, 1967
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: Swedish, American

 46 Henrietta Swan Leavitt

Henrietta Swan Leavitt
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Famous As: Astronomer
Birthdate: July 4, 1868
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: American
Died: December 12, 1921

 47 Gerolamo Cardano

Gerolamo Cardano
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Famous As: Polymath
Birthdate: September 24, 1501
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: Italian
Died: September 21, 1576

 48 John Herschel

John Herschel
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Famous As: Polymath
Birthdate: March 7, 1792
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: British
Died: May 11, 1871

 49 Anders Celsius

Anders Celsius
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Famous As: Astronomer, Physicist, Mathematician
Birthdate: November 27, 1701
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: Swedish
Died: April 25, 1744

 50 George F. Smoot

George F. Smoot
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Famous As: Cosmologist
Birthdate: February 20, 1945
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: American
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