Happy Birthday Copernicus

Copernicus's view of the solar system
Copernicus's view of the solar system

Nicolaus Copernicus was born in Torun, Poland on February 19, 1473.

From the ancient Greeks, everyone in Europe believed that the Earth was the centre of the universe. The great work of Copernicus De revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres), published in 1543, showed that the sun was at the center.

You can see evidence of this yourself with binoculars or a small telescope. Both Venus and Mercury go through phases like the moon, and this only makes sense if they are in orbit around the Sun, not the Earth.

Posted by sheila

Sheila came to La Palma with a six month contract and has stayed 24 years so far. She used to work as a software engineer at the observatory, but now she's a writer and Starlight guide.

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