Famous Astronomers

Throughout the centuries Johannes Kepler, Galileo Galilei, and other household names have laid the foundation for modern astronomy. Here, we chronicle the life stories and scientific achievements of contemporary astronomers (who, if they’re not famous already, should be), with a special focus on women in astronomy as well as African American astronomers.

Albert Einstein & James Clerk Maxwell

“Lights All Askew:” How a Solar Eclipse Made Einstein Famous

Why are some scientists world-famous but not others? Narrative, even one as simple as "starlight bends," turns out to be a powerful tool for making sense of science. In 1905 Albert Einstein published four papers that transformed our understanding of light, atoms, space, time, and energy. The world took no notice. Ten years later, still…