Top 20 Great Astronomers & Scientists Who Influenced The World

Think about it, if they were not great astronomers and scientists often dominate many fields of science, we would believe much more things supernatural than today. Aliens would be a more common explanation for any phenomenon that now can be explained very well. To have lit our knowledge and shown us the world as it really is, here’s our tribute to great minds who passed through the Earth. They are the top 20 great astronomers and scientists who influenced the world.

1 – Eratosthenes

Top 20 Great Astronomers & Scientists Who Influenced The World

At a time when most people thought the world was flat, the mathematician, astronomer and Greek geographer Eratosthenes (276 BC -195 BC) used the sun (in Indeed, the shadows that it causes) to measure the size of Earth and conclude It was round. His measure (39,690 kilometers) was only 340 km wrong in relation to true measurement.

2 – Ptolemy

Top 20 Great Astronomers & Scientists Who Influenced The World

The ancient Greek astronomer and mathematician Claudius Ptolemy (90 AD – 168 AD) created a model of the solar system where the sun, stars and other planets revolved around from the earth. It is known that the Ptolemy system was recognized correctly by hundreds of years, although he was wrong.

Yet this great scientist was considered the first “celestial scientist” and has collaborations in mathematics, astrology, astronomy, geography, cartography, optics and musical theory. His best known work is the Almagest (which means “the great treatise”) a treatise on astronomy which brings together work and observations of Aristotle, Hipparchus, Posidonius and others, with tables star observations and planets and a large geometric model of the solar system, based on Aristotelian cosmology.

3 – Abd al-Rahman al-Sufi

The Persian astronomer Abd al-Rahman al-Sufi (903 AD – 986 AD), or for Azophi Western, made the first observation pertaining to a group of stars outside Milky Way, the Andromeda galaxy. His work the “Book of Fixed Stars” allowed modern astronomy make useful comparisons in search of variations in brightness of stars.

4 – Copernicus

Top 20 Great Astronomers & Scientists Who Influenced The World

In the 16th century, in Poland, the astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus (1473 – 1543) proposed a the solar system model in which the Earth revolved around the sun. The model was not entirely correct, since astronomers  still  time had to face difficulty in determining the orbit of Mars, but eventually it has changed our view on system solar completely. The father of modern astronomy revolutionized Western thought when taking man from the center of the universe (Anthropocentrism), and so it was considered a heretic by the Church.

5 – Kepler

Top 20 Great Astronomers & Scientists Who Influenced The World

Using detailed measurements of the path of planets made by the Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe, Johannes Kepler (1571 – 1630) He determined that the planets traveled around the sun in ellipses, not in circles. To prove this discovery, he calculated that three laws involve the movements of the planets, the astronomers use Kepler data in their own calculations until today. Kepler is now the name of a probe, a projected space observatory NASA seeking extrasolar planets.

6 – Galileo

Top 20 Great Astronomers & Scientists Who Influenced The World

Born in Italy, Galileo Galilei (1564 – 1642) is often credited with creating optical telescope, although in fact, it has only improved existing models. Being, the astronomer, physicist, mathematician and philosopher, he used the new observation tool for discover the four main moons of Jupiter (now known as the Galilean moons) like the rings of Saturn. And, despite a Earth model spinning around the sun that was first proposed by Copernicus, It took some time for the theory to be widely accepted, and Galileo is more known for defending it. Galileo just arrested himself under house at the end of his life to discover more thorough knowledge on solar system.

7 – Christiaan Huygens

The physicist and astronomer Christiaan Dutch Huygens (1629 – 1695) proposed the first  theory about the nature of light, a phenomenon that puzzles scientists for hundreds of years. Its improvements in the telescope assisted him the first observations of the Saturn rings and he could discover the moon of saturn named as Titan. Huygens also created the theory of light and Color discovering that, by means of light, it would be possible occurrence of phenomena as refraction and reflection.

8 – Newton

Top 20 Great Astronomers & Scientists Who Influenced The World

Based on the work of those who came before him, the English astronomer Sir Isaac Newton (1643 – 1727) is the most famous for his work on forces, specifically gravity (who remember the story of Apple?). He calculated three laws that describe the movement of forces between objects, known today as Newton’s laws.

9 – Einstein

Top 20 Great Astronomers & Scientists Who Influenced The World

In the early 20th century, the German physicist Albert Einstein (1879 – 1955) has become one of the most famous scientists in the world, after propose a new way of looking at the universe beyond current understanding. Einstein suggested that the laws of physics are the same throughout the universe, the speed of light in the vacuum is constant, and that the space and time are connected into one entity known as space-time, which is distorted by gravity.

10 – Hubble

The American astronomer Edwin Hubble (1899 – 1953) calculated that a small bubble Heaven existed outside the Milky Way. Before their observations, the discussion on the size of universe was divided as to whether or not there is only one galaxy. Hubble also determined that the universe was expanding, a calculation which later became known as Hubble’s law. His observations led many galaxies establishing a default system classification used today. One of the most famous space telescopes in the world bears his name, the Hubble Space Telescope, pointed to the sky in order to study the universe.

11 – Hawking

Top 20 Great Astronomers & Scientists Who Influenced The World

Stephen Hawking (born 1942) made many significant discoveries in the field of cosmology. He proposed that as the the universe has a beginning, probably also have an end. Hawking believes that the world has no boundaries or borders. Usually regarded as one of the smartest minds after Einstein. Many of Hawking books are adapted and directed to the general public, since it seeks to educate people about the universe.

12 – Cassini

The Italian astronomer Giovanni Cassini (1625 – 1712) measured the time taken by the Jupiter and Mars to rotate around the Sun and he had calculated the difference between the rings of the planet. In 1997, NASA launched a satellite to Saturn orbit and its moons, it was named as Cassini.

13 – Halley

Edmond Halley (1656 – 1742) was the Briton scientist who analyzed the sightings of historical comets and proposed that the comet appeared in 1456, 1531, 1607 and 1682 was the same, and would return in 1758. Despite died before he could say – I was right, I was really right, and the comet it was named in his honor.

14 – Messier

The French astronomer Charles Messier (1730 – 1817) composed an database of heavenly object known at the time as “Fuzzy,” which included 103 objects in final publication, while others had been added based on his personal notes. Many of these objects are often listed with the name Messier catalog, as the Galaxy Andromeda, known as M31 (Messier, 31 because it’s the 31 cataloged object). The astronomer also found 13 comets throughout his life.

15 – Herschel

Top 20 Great Astronomers & Scientists Who Influenced The World

The British astronomer William Herschel (1738 – 1822) cataloged over 2,500 objects in the deep sky. He also discovered Uranus and its two brightest moons, two of the moons Saturn and the Martian polar caps. William trained his sister Caroline Herschel (1750 – 1848), in astronomy, and she became the first woman to discover a comet. The European Space Agency created an observatory with his name, Herschel Space Observatory.

16 – Henrietta Leavitt Swann

Henrietta Leavitt Swann (1868 – 1921) was one of several women who worked as a “human computer” on Harvard University (USA), identifying photographic images of variable stars plating. She found that the brightness of one flashing star was related to how often it throbbed. This relationship allowed astronomers to calculate the star distances and galaxies, the size of the Milky Way and the expansion of the universe. She discovered more than 1,200 variable stars in her life.

17 – Shapley

The American astronomer Harlow Shapley (1885 – 1972) calculated the size of the galaxy and Milky Way  and general location of its center. He argued that the known objects are “nebulae” and it locates within the galaxy, rather than outside it. But his name is a lesser Spotted because he was reported incorrectly from the Hubble observations and the fact that the universe had other galaxies beyond Milky Way.

18 – Drake

Frank Drake (born 1930) is one of pioneers in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. He was a founder of Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI in acronym in English) and creator of the Drake equation, a mathematical equation used to estimate the number of extraterrestrial civilizations in the Milky Way.

19 – Hartmann

The American astronomer William K. Hartmann (born in 1939) extended the theory on the formation of the moon in 1975 and it was more reliable. He proposed that, after a collision with a large body, the debris it left with the Earth together to form the moon.

20 – Carl Sagan

Top 20 Great Astronomers & Scientists Who Influenced The World

The American astronomer Carl Sagan (1934 – 1996) may not have been a great scientist compared to others in this list, but is one of the most famous astronomers to have made important scientific studies in the fields of planetary science, and especially for having popularized astronomy more than any other individual. His TV programs and derivatives attracted many interested viewers.