Person: Mästlin, Michael
Michael Mästlin was a German astronomer who was Kepler's teacher and who publicised the Copernican system.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Mästlin was awarded a Master's degree with distinction in 1571.
- Mästlin is famous for his excellent, very accurate, observations of the comet of 1577, observed while he was in Backnang, and published in Tübingen in 1578 as Observatio et demonstratio cometae aetherae qui anno 1577 et 1578 constitutus in sphaera Veneris apparuit cum admirandius eius passionibus varietate scilicet motus loco orbe distantia a terro centro etc.
- Mästlin had several students who became noted mathematicians, the most famous being Kepler.
- Mästlin also maintained interests in Biblical chronology and geography.
- However for the more advanced lectures he adopted the heliocentric approach - Kepler credited Mästlin with introducing him to Copernican ideas while he was a student at Tübingen (1589-94).
- Mästlin was both a great expert on spherical trigonometry and also a fine observer producing accurate data - the quality of his eyesight is seen from the fact that he saw, and sketched the positions of, 11 stars in the Pleiades cluster.
- Another first for Mästlin is an accurate calculation of the golden ratio as "approximately 0.6180340" stated in a letter he wrote to Kepler in 1597.
- Mästlin lived to see the invention of the telescope for astronomical observations by Galileo.
- As we mentioned above Mästlin acquired a copy of Copernicus's De revolutionibus in 1570 and he wrote extensive notes near the beginning of the book.
Born 30 September 1550, Göppingen, Baden-Würtemberg, Germany. Died 30 October 1631, Tübingen, Baden-Würtemberg, Germany.
View full biography at MacTutor
Tags relevant for this person:
Astronomy, Origin Germany, Special Numbers And Numerals
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive