Nicolaus Copernicus (February 19, 1473 – May 24, 1543)

February 22, 2007 at 1:19 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I have culled the following biographical information from Wikipedia. Copernicus formulated the first modern theory of Solar System, which is often conceived as the starting point of modern astronomy. Copernicus was a mathematician, astronomer, jurist, physician, classical scholar, Catholic cleric, governor, administrator, diplomat, economist. his conception that the sun (rather than the Earth) at the center of the solar system is considered among the most important landmarks in the history of science.

He was born in Thorin, Prussia. When his wealthy father died, Copernicus was ten years old, his mother having died earlier. His uncle reared him and his siblings after his father died. He pursued aq career in the church and was able to devote much of his time to the study of astronomy. During his education he was fascinated with Astronomy, and his books on astronomy found a place in the Swedish Uppsala University Library. During his further studies he met the famous astronomer Domenico Maria Novara da Ferrara, and became his disciple. He obtained his doctorate in canon law. His future theory started forming in his mind. After ending his studies he started working.

His solar theory was taking form and and was rumoured all over Europe. His book was finally ready and was sent to the publishers.

De revolutionibus orbium coelestium, (on the revolutions of the celestial spheres), his book, was published, and it is rumoured that the first copy of the book was given in his hand while he was in deathbed, and waking from coma, he glanced at the book and died. He breathed his last in 1543. Though his major theory was published in 1543, he had arrived at the theory several decades earlier.

The seven parts of Copernicus’ theory are:

  1. There is no one center in the universe
  2. The Earth’s center is not the center of the universe
  3. The center of the universe is near the sun
  4. The distance from the Earth to the sun is imperceptible compared with the distance to the stars
  5. The rotation of the Earth accounts for the apparent daily rotation of the stars
  6. The apparent annual cycle of movements of the sun is caused by the Earth revolving around the sun
  7. The apparent retrograde motion of the planets is caused by the motion of the Earth, from which one observes.
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