On this day in 1571 - December 27th - Johannes Kepler was born near Stuttgart in Germany.
Using the data of Tycho Brahe, Kepler formulated the three laws planetary motion which were the foundation for our modern view of the Solar System. They could describe planetary orbits simply, but required the Sun - not the Earth - to be at the center of the Solar System.
On this day in 1928 - December 30th - the Belgian astronomer Henri Debehogne was born.
Debehogne worked at the Royal Observatory of Belgium in Uccle where he specialized in the astrometry of comets and minor planets. The Minor Planet Center of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) credited him with over 700 discoveries of minor planets.
On this day in 1864 - December 31st - Robert Grant Aitken was born.
Aitken was an American astronomer of international repute. He was best known for his systematic study of double stars, and served for ten years as chair of the double star committee of the International Astronomical Union.
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