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February 19 2013

Happy Birthday Copernicus! Remembering Astronomy’s Legendary Iconoclast


On this day 540 years ago, the revolutionary mathematician and astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus was born in Toruñ, Poland. Throughout his life, he studied art, astronomy, economics, mathematics and physics. He is considered a founder of Heliocentrism, the belief the sun is at the center of the Solar System, a view which he presented in his iconoclastic book entitled “De revolutionibus orbium coelestium” (“On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres”) just before he died. It was this last work and his explanation of Heliocentrism that challenged the way we thought about our Solar System and the Earth’s place in it.

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