April 27, 4977 B.C : Universe is created

On this day in 4977 B.C., the universe is created, according to German mathematician and astronomer Johannes Kepler, considered a founder of modern science. Kepler is best known for his theories explaining the motion of planets.

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In 1600, Kepler went to Prague to work for Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe, the imperial mathematician to Rudolf II, emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. Kepler’s main project was to investigate the orbit of Mars. When Brahe died the following year, Kepler took over his job and inherited Brahe’s extensive collection of astronomy data, which had been painstakingly observed by the naked eye. Over the next decade, Kepler learned about the work of Italian physicist and astronomer Galileo Galilei (1564-1642), who had invented a telescope with which he discovered lunar mountains and craters, the largest four satellites of Jupiter and the phases of Venus, among other things. Kepler corresponded with Galileo and eventually obtained a telescope of his own and improved upon the design. In 1609, Kepler published the first two of his three laws of planetary motion, which held that planets move around the sun in ellipses, not circles (as had been widely believed up to that time), and that planets speed up as they approach the sun and slow down as they move away. In 1619, he produced his third law, which used mathematic principles to relate the time a planet takes to orbit the sun to the average distance of the planet from the sun.

Kepler’s research was slow to gain widespread traction during his lifetime, but it later served as a key influence on the English mathematician Sir Isaac Newton (1643-1727) and his law of gravitational force. Additionally, Kepler did important work in the fields of optics, including demonstrating how the human eye works, and math. He died on November 15, 1630, in Regensberg, Germany. As for Kepler’s calculation about the universe’s birthday, scientists in the 20th century developed the Big Bang theory, which showed that his calculations were off by about 13.7 billion years.

Historical events

AMERICAN REVOLUTION  
Parliament passes the Tea Act  1773
AUTOMOTIVE  
GM announces plans to phase out Pontiac  2009
CIVIL WAR  
Union soldiers die in steamship explosion 1865
COLD WAR  
Afghan president is overthrown and murdered  1978
CRIME  
Cunanan begins his killing spree  1997
DISASTER  
Civil War vets are caught in steamboat explosion 1865
GENERAL INTEREST  
Magellan killed in the Philippines  1521
To the shores of Tripoli 1805
Tragedy on the Mississippi  1865
South Africa holds first multiracial elections 1994
HOLLYWOOD  
D.A. announces negligence caused Brandon Lee’s death 1993
LITERARY  
John Milton sells the copyright to Paradise Lost  1667
MUSIC  
High school freshman Little Peggy March earns a #1 hit with “I Will Follow Him”  1963
OLD WEST  
Explorer Zebulon Pike dies  1813
PRESIDENTIAL  
President Grant is born 1822
SPORTS  
Rocky Marciano retires as world heavyweight champion  1956
VIETNAM WAR  
Humphrey announces his candidacy  1968
North Vietnamese attack outskirts of Quang Tri 1972
WORLD WAR I  
British attempt to bargain with Turks over Kut  1916
WORLD WAR II  
German forces enter Athens  1941

 

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