Godefroy Wendelin

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About Godefroy Wendelin

Govaert Wendelen (6 June 1580 – 24 October 1667) was a Flemish astronomer who was born in Herk-de-Stad. He is also known by the Latin name Vendelinus. His name is sometimes given as Godefroy Wendelin; his first name spelt Godefroid or Gottfried. Around 1630 he measured the distance between the Earth and the Sun using the method of Aristarchus of Samos. The value he calculated was 60% of the true value (243 times the distance to the Moon; the true value is about 384 times; Aristarchus calculated about 20 times). In 1643 he recognized that Kepler's third law applied to the satellites of Jupiter. Wendelin corresponded with Mersenne, Gassendi and Constantijn Huygens. The crater Vendelinus on the Moon is named after him. Wendelin died in Ghent on 24 October 1667.

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