Johannes Kepler was a German mathematician, astronomer and astrologer. A key figure in the 17th century scientific revolution, he is best known for his eponymous laws of planetary motion, codified by later astronomers, based on his works Astronomia novaHarmonices Mundi, and Epitome of Copernican Astronomy. These works also provided one of the foundations for Isaac Newton’s theory of universal gravitation.

Johannes Kepler’s first major astronomical work, Mysterium Cosmographicum (The Cosmographic Mystery). Kepler claimed to have had an epiphany on July 19, 1595, while teaching in Graz, demonstrating the periodic conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter in the zodiac; he realized that regular polygons bound one inscribed and one circumscribed circle at definite ratios, which, he reasoned, might be the geometrical basis of the universe. After failing to find a unique arrangement of polygons that fit known astronomical observations, Kepler began experimenting with 3-dimensional polyhedra. He found that each of the five Platonic solids could be uniquely inscribed and circumscribed by spherical orbs; nesting these solids, each encased in a sphere, within one another would produce six layers, corresponding to the six known planets—Mercury, Venus, Earth,Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. By ordering the solids correctly—octahedron, icosahedron, dodecahedron,tetrahedron, cube—Kepler found that the spheres could be placed at intervals corresponding to the relative sizes of each planet’s path, assuming the planets circle the Sun.

As he indicated in the title, Kepler thought he had revealed God’s geometrical plan for the universe. Much of Kepler’s enthusiasm for the Copernican system stemmed from his theological convictions about the connection between the physical and the spiritual; the universe itself was an image of God, with the Sun corresponding to the Father, the stellar sphere to the Son, and the intervening space between to the Holy Spirit.  –Source

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