The Austrian Academy of Sciences invited to honour Johannes Kepler on 18th Dezember 2018 during a symposium titled “Johannes Kepler and the Red Planet“.

Left the programm-cover and right the wonderful old building, the home of  The Austrian Academy of Sciences.

So this was an officially good opportunity to close the “400 Year Anniversary of 3rd Kepler LAW“ – from my point of view: the most overslept anniversary ever. More about this later *)

Erich Meyer presented again, as so often during this year, the work and life of Johannes Kepler and the date of Kepler's great dedection - his 3rd law - exactly 400 years ago.

It was a famous and honourful location to do this. The building of the Austrian Academy of Science housed on it's roof the first astronmical university observatory of Vienna. This observatory was constructed during 1753- 1756 by the plan of Jean Nicolas Jadot during the regency from the Austrian Emperor Franz I. and his wife Maria Theresia and was opened on 10.7.1756.

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The observatory and some old instruments from that time
The university observatory had a big international reputation, it was leading in measuring positions from sun, moon, planets and bright stars. At that time they published internationally, considerably earlier than famous observatories like Greenwich and Berlin, annual exactly ephemerids called: "Ephemerides Astronomiccae ad Meridianum" (Meridanum Vindobonensem jussu Augustissimi).

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The wonderful ceiling fresco from Gregorio Guglielmli (1755)

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Erich Meyer talking about Keplers work in Linz and about the 400-year anniversary of Kepler's 3rd law

*) Some personal notes on the most overslept anniversary:

Unfortunately during 2018 there was little or nothing activity from the “Science World“ around the globe to celebrate this big success of Johannes Kepler. The 15. May 1618 – the day when the famous Astronomer Johannes Kepler (1571 – 1630), a German natural philosopher, mathematican, astronomer, astrologer, optican and evangelic theologian, wrote history.

After decades of hard work he discovered the truth behind the motion of planets. “De motibus planetarum“, as it's called in the original Latin written title of Book V in Harmonices Mundi – published in 1619 in Linz Austria. Triumphing he declared his 3rd Law: “It's dead sure and is true, that the proportion existing between the period of revolution of some two planets is exactly one and a half of the proportion of their average distances“. In persistant dedective work, based on Tycho Brahes exactly observations he discovered the true distances. His investigative skills set him already in earlier times on the right track, there must be a correlation between orbit radius and circulation periods. Now after long search and try he was successful. Beeing so happy and conscious of his dedection's importance he wrote this memorable date in his famous book Harmonices Mundi.

15.Maji anni millesimi sexcentesimi decime octavi“ - 15. Mai 1618.

Our local astronomical Association was the only one who pointed out this remarkable date. Due to the big efforts of our member Erich Meyer, I was able to report exactly on this date, 400 years later.

The only official “global, astronomical hot spot“, who supported us, was APOD(Astronomy Picture Of the Day). They reported exactly at the right date about this memorable date – at this juncture - many thanks to the authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff and Jerry Bonnell.

Have a lookback HERE:

All efforts to involve others have been effectless. I wrote already 2016 to official contacts at IAU and universities in the hope to initiate a kind of global “Kepler awareness programm“ – nothing happened. No astronomical magazines, like “Sky & Telescope“ (the biggest international magazine), or “Sterne u. Weltraume“ (biggest German written magazine), ….. no organisations we have contacted long time before have been interested and they all failed this date. So Kepler's most important dedection, which opened definitely the door to space, was defacto overslept. OK, next year, 2019, we can celebrate the publication of „Harmonices mundi“, where everything is written down, but not the pleasure of Johannes Kepler, his proudness, his greatest success, the greatest day 15. Mai 1618 in Kepler's life, when he dedected his 3rd law 400 years ago.


Johannes Stübler

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Showing 2 comments
  • 02 January 2019
    Thank you for the detailed article, and your work in the field. Greetings from the UAE.
  • 05 August 2019
    I too missed the 'discovery' anniversary, but I did prepare a cartoon to celebrate the publication of Harmonices Mundi for my local astronomical society. It can be found at
    I will present it as a poster at our local amateur astronomers conference this week (VASTROC), to help jog the memories of attendees who are still celebrating a mere 50 years since some guys stood on the moon.
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