Facts About Copernicus

  • Until the 16th century most people thought the Earth was the centre of the Universe and that everything — the Moon, Sun, planets and stars — revolved around it.
  • Nicolaus Copernicus was the astronomer who first suggested that the Sun was the centre, and that the Earth went round the Sun. This is called the heliocentric view.
  • In 1543 Nicolaus Copernicus proposed a revolutionary theory — that Earth and other planets move around the Sun. Before this people had believed that the Sun and planets moved around the stationary Earth.
  • The Earth,’ wrote Cope nicus, ‘carrying the Moon’s path, passes in a eat orbit among the other planets in an annual re olution around the Sun.’
  • Copernicus was born on 19 February 1473 at T. n in Poland, and died on 24 M 547. Copernicus was the nephew of a prince bishop who spent most of his life as a canon at Frauenberg Cathedral in East Prussia (now Germany).
  • Copernicus described his ideas in a book called De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (`On the revolutions of the heavenly spheres’).
  • The Roman Catholic Church banned Copernicus’s book for almost 300 years.
  • Copernicus’s ideas came not from looking at the night sky but from studying ancient astronomy.
  • Copernicus’s main clue came from the way the planets, every now and then, seem to perform a backward loop through the sky.
  • The first proof of Copernicus’s theory came in 1609, when Galileo saw (through a telescope) moons revolving around Jupiter.
  • The change in ideas that was brought about by Copernicus is known as the Copernican Revolution.