Beauty & Self Books & Music Career Computers Education Family Food & Wine Health & Fitness Hobbies & Crafts Home & Garden Money News & Politics Relationships Religion & Spirituality Sports Travel & Culture TV & Movies Copernicus (1473-1543) began a revolution in astronomy by putting the Sun in the center of the Solar System, but Johannes Kepler was the one who constructed a credible model of such a Solar System.

After grammar school, he was educated at a Latin school, then proceeded to a convent school to study for the Lutheran clergy. This contact with Tycho would be not only a lifeline to Kepler later, but also provide an essential element of his great work.

The ministry was a good career for an intelligent young man with no family money. In 1597 Kepler married Barbara Muller who was twice-widowed with a young daughter.

University At the University of Tubingen Kepler was an able and keen scholar, particularly in mathematics. The marriage lasted fourteen years until Barbara's death.

Astronomy was then a branch of mathematics and the advanced class studied the Copernican system, but only as an analytical tool. By the end of the six years in Graz, religious tensions had increased dangerously.

When Tycho died suddenly in 1601, Kepler was appointed as Imperial Mathematician.

Since his student days, Kepler had been preoccupied with the Solar System.

He realized that in order to test different models, a large body of accurate observational data was needed. Tycho had been secretive about sharing data with his assistant.

The Earth-centered (geocentric) system was as entrenched in academia as it was in both the Roman and Lutheran churches. In 1600 when Kepler refused to convert to Catholicism, he and his family were banished.

Few believed in the reality of the new Sun-centered (heliocentric) model of Copernicus, but Kepler was one of them. Fortunately, he had already realized how precarious his position was and had not only met Tycho Brahe, but they had agreed terms for Kepler to work for him in Prague.

Although Kepler was devout, he didn't accept everything his church said. Prague Tycho needed a mathematician to analyze his observations, which he hoped would support his own Solar System model - a compromise between the old geocentric model and new heliocentric one.

Long after his student days he would write of "a duty to search . He was also the Imperial Mathematician to the Holy Roman Emperor Rudolph II, and Kepler was able to collaborate on the preparation of the Rudolphine Tables (updated astronomical tables).