Famous Dutch Astronomers

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 1 
Christiaan Huygens
(Mathematician, Physicist)
Christiaan Huygens
9
Birthdate: April 14, 1629
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: The Hague, Netherlands
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.

 2 
Gerard Kuiper
(Dutch Astronomer, Planetary Scientist, Selenographer, Author and Professor)
Gerard Kuiper
3
Birthdate: December 7, 1905
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Tuitjenhorn, Netherlands
Died: December 23, 1973

Gerard Kuiper was blessed with an unusually sharp eyesight and could see stars clearly with the naked eye. The Dutch-born scientist later moved to the U.S., where he established the University of Arizona’s LPL. He also initiated research on the belt of comets surrounding the Sun, known as the Kuiper belt.

 3 
Jan Oort
(Astronomer, Scientist, University teacher)
Jan Oort
3
Birthdate: April 28, 1900
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Franeker
Died: November 5, 1992

Jan Oort was a Dutch astronomer whose ground-breaking discoveries revolutionized astronomy. Widely regarded as one of the 20th century's greatest astronomers, Jan Oort's work helped understand the Milky Way. He also pioneered radio astronomy and was honored with several prestigious awards like the Bruce Medal, Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society, Janssen Medal, and Prix Jules Janssen.

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 4 
Willebrord Snell
(Astronomer & Mathematician)
Willebrord Snell
4
Birthdate: June 13, 1580
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Leiden, Dutch Republic
Died: October 30, 1626

Willebrord Snell was a Dutch mathematician and astronomer. He is credited with rediscovering the law of refraction, which is named Snell's law in his honor. A much-revered mathematician in the Netherlands, Willebrord Snell was honored by the Royal Netherlands Navy by naming three of its survey ships after him. Snellius, a lunar crater, is also named in his honor.

 5 
Willem de Sitter
(Dutch Mathematician, Physicist, and Astronomer)
Willem de Sitter
2
Birthdate: May 6, 1872
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Sneek, Netherlands
Died: November 20, 1934

Willem de Sitter was a Dutch physicist, mathematician, and astronomer. A respected figure, Willem de Sitter served as the director of the famous Leiden Observatory from 1919 to 1934. He worked alongside Albert Einstein and made important discoveries in the field of physical cosmology. He was the recipient of the James Craig Watson Medal, Bruce Medal, and Prix Jules Janssen. 

 6 
Jacobus Kapteyn
(Dutch Astronomer Who Used Photography and Statistical Methods in Determining the Motions and Distribution of Stars)
Jacobus Kapteyn
2
Birthdate: January 19, 1851
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Barneveld, Netherlands
Died: June 18, 1922

Jacobus Cornelius Kapteyn was a Dutch astronomer best remembered for his studies of the Milky Way. He proved the existence of galactic rotation and was also among the first astronomers to talk about the existence of dark matter as early as 1922. Over the course of his career, Kapteyn was honored with many awards like the James Craig Watson Medal.

 7 
John Goodricke
(Amateur astronomer)
John Goodricke
2
Birthdate: September 17, 1764
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Groningen, Netherlands
Died: April 20, 1786

John Goodricke was an English astronomer best remembered for his observations of the Demon Star in 1782. The following year, he was honored with the prestigious Copley Medal for his work. In 1786, John Goodricke was made a member of the Royal Society.

 8 
Alexander Ollongren
(He serves on the Advisory Council of METI (Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence))
Alexander Ollongren
1
Birthdate: November 9, 1928
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Kepahiang Sub-District, Indonesia

A renowned professor of Leiden University, Dutch astronomer Alexander Ollongren has also taught at Yale. Born in the Dutch East Indies, he spent his childhood in Japanese internment camps after the Japanese occupation, before moving to the Netherlands. He has also been associated with SETI.

 9 
Bart Bok
(Dutch-American Astronomer Best Known for His Work on the Structure and Evolution of the Milky Way Galaxy)
Bart Bok
1
Birthdate: April 28, 1906
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Hoorn, Netherlands
Died: August 5, 1983

Dutch-American astronomer, teacher, and lecturer Bartholomeus Jan "Bart" Bok is best remembered for working on the structure and evolution of the Milky Way galaxy, and for discovering the isolated and relatively small dark nebulae called Bok globules. Bok and his astronomer wife Priscilla Fairfield collaborated closely on their astronomical work and co-authored the widely acclaimed book The Milky Way.

 10 
Marcel Minnaert
(Dutch Astronomer Known for His Contributions to Astronomy and Physics)
Marcel Minnaert
1
Birthdate: February 12, 1893
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Brugge, Belgium
Died: October 10, 1970

Belgian-origin Dutch astronomer Marcel Minnaert is best remembered for pioneering the solar spectrophotometry. Initially a botanist, he later focused on his research on the effect of light on plants, eventually switching to physics. His best-known work remains The Nature of Light and Color in the Open Air.

 11 
Hendrik C. van de Hulst
(Dutch Astronomer and Mathematician Who Predicted the Existence of the 21 CM 'Hyperfine Line' of 'Neutral Interstellar Hydrogen')
Hendrik C. van de Hulst
1
Birthdate: November 19, 1918
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Utrecht, Netherlands
Died: July 31, 2000

Hendrik C. van de Hulst was a Dutch mathematician and astronomer. He is credited with developing the anomalous diffraction theory. A respected astronomer, Hendrik played an important role in several international space research projects. Over the course of his career, he was honored with many prestigious awards like the Henry Draper Medal, Bruce Medal, Rumford Medal, and Eddington Medal.  

 12 
Dirk Brouwer
(Dutch-American Astronomer)
Dirk Brouwer
0
Birthdate: September 1, 1902
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Rotterdam, Netherlands
Died: January 31, 1966

Dutch-American astronomer Dirk Brouwer had a long stint at Yale University and had been the editor of Astronomical Journal for over two decades. A master of dynamical astronomy and celestial mechanics, he was the first to utilize computers for calculating planetary positions and also coined the term “ephemeris time.”