I Digress: Nikolaus Kopernikus (Copernicus) 19 February 1473 – 24 May 1543)

An X-class solar flare Credit: NASA/SDO

Nikolaus Kopernikus (Copernicus)  19 February 1473 – 24 May 1543)

De revolutionibus orbium coelestium – Copernicus:

In which he asserted that the universe comprised eight spheres. The furthest consisting of fixed stars, with the Sun motionless at the centre. The planets then known, revolved about the Sun with each in its own sphere: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter & Saturn. The Moon, revolving in its own sphere around the Earth. What appeared to be the daily revolution of the Sun was infact the Earth’s daily rotation on its own axis about the sun.

He may have been wrong with his ideas that the orbits of celestial bodies must be perfect circles, but his change from geocentric to a heliocentric cosmology helped move the views of science away from Aristotle’s theories and turned astronomy on its head so to speak.

People were not happy …….

Martin Luther was quoted as saying in 1539:

“People gave ear to an upstart astrologer who strove to show that the earth revolves, not the heavens or the firmament, the sun and the moon … This fool wishes to reverse the entire science of astronomy…….”

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