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Copernicus Buried Again

31 May 2010, 03:18 UTC
Copernicus Buried Again
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On May 22 in Poland, astronomer Nicholas Copernicus was reburied as a hero. Copernicus will forever be known for introducing a cosmology that was not centred on the Earth. He was originally condemned as a heretic. (Did you hear the one about the Polish astronomer? He thought that Earth circled the Sun! LOL!) Astronomers of his time preferred the complexity of epicycles, spheres within spheres. Observations made after his death, like those of Galileo, would prove Copernicus right. Isaac Newton would show how a simple law of gravity could explain the motions of planets, moons and apples. 500 yerars after his death the world has acknowledged that Copernicus was right.To those who knew him, the man who would revolutionise astronomy seemed most unrevolutionary. Nicholas Copernicus quietly moved through society in the honoured position of a churchman. This quiet man led a secret life of science--his nights were spent on the church walls observing the sky. Quietly he collected and checked his observations for a book, but delayed publishing until the end. "De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium" argued that Earth is not the centre of everything, but circles the Sun. It was published in 1543 the day before Copernicus died quietly in ...

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