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Those you need to know

Danish, 1546-1601, discovered serious errors in existing astronomical tables, observed new star in Cassiopeia, developed an accurate catalogu of positions of 777 stars Tycho Brahe
Polish, 1473-1543, founder of modern astronomy, wrote De Revolutionibus, proving the sun to be the center of the universe Nicolas Copernicus
German, 1787-1826, Founded an optical institute in Munich, improved prisms and telescopes, enabling him to discover the dark lines in the Sun's spectrum, named after him Joseph von Fraunhofer
Italian astronomer and mathematician, 1564-1642, perfected refracting telescope, convinced of the correctness of the heliocentric theory Galileo Galilei
English, 1656-1742, famous for work in cometary astronomy, predicted return of comet now named after him, first to make complete observation of transit of Mercury Edmund Halley
English, 1792-1871, discovered 525 nebulae, pioneered celestial photography and carried out research on photo-active chemicals and wave theory of light John Frederick William Herschel
German-born British astronomer, 1738-1822, used his own reflecting telescope, discovered planet Uranus, made catalog of double stars William Herschel
Danish, 1873-1967, work on relationships between color and brightness of stars, greatly developed Leavitt's method for finding stellar distances Ejnar Hertzsprung
American, 1889-1953, identified some nebulae as independent galaxies, discovered "red shift" and announced a Constant for the expansion of universe Edwin Hubble
German, 1571-1630, proved that the planets do not orbit in circles but in ellipses; his First and Second Laws are starting point of Newton's discoveries and of modern astronomy Johann Kepler
American, 1855-1916, observations of Mars, prediction of existence of planet, Pluto Percival Lowell
French, 1730-1817, mapped faint unmoving objects in sky which became the first nebula catalogs, a prefix recognizing his contribution by the letter is applied to these objects Charles Messier
Eyptian, 90-168, greatly influenced scientists into the 17th century Ptolemy
American, b. 1934, through books and Tv program popularized astronomy Carl Sagan
American, b. 1906, discoveredPluto in 1930 Clyde William Tombaugh
Created by: betsynewmark