Portrait of Nicholas Copernicus
Nicholas Copernicus was a Polish astronomer who lived between 1473-1543. He was born in Torun, Poland to a middle class family. He attended school at Cracow and eventually moved on to Italy where he received a degree in mathematical science.
Before his time, people believed in the Ptolemaic model of the solar system, which maintained that the Earth was the center of the universe. Unfortunately, this model was inadequate at predicting the positions of the planets.
In 1543, Copernicus started a scientific revolution when he published
the heliocentric theory (helios means Sun in Greek), in which all the planets, including Earth, revolved around the Sun. This was a highly controversial idea that was denounced by many of his times. He also introduced a full mathematical system
that could accurately calculate the positions of the planets at any given time.
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