World’s Super Scientists – Nicolaus Copernicus

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It is the Earth that moves round the Sun; it is not the Sun that moves round the Earth – Nicolaus Copernicus
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Nicolaus Copernicus Scientist(1473 to 1543), a Polish astronomer was well versed in mathematics, geometry, astronomy, geography, philosophy, theology, medicine and economics, law.

Nicolaus Copernicus Scientist was an industrious student. Later he became a priest and statesman.

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

  • Nicolaus Copernicus Scientist propounded the theory that Earth revolves round the Sun, heliocentric theory (see Aryabhatta).
  • Earth takes a daily rotation around its own axis and a yearly revolution around the Sun.

Earth is also a planet like other planets (the word planet meant “wanderer” in Greek language). The earth is not considered to be the centre of cosmos (Universe).

The non-recognition of the Earth as the centre of the Universe caused an intellectual jolt amongst scientists. This is “The Copernican Revolution”.

a)   In  150  A.D.  Ptolemy,  a  famous Egyptian astronomer proposed the geocentric theory, viz., the earth at the center of the Universe.

b) The Copernican system opposed Aristotle’s view that Earth was a fixed object; it was almost a religious dogma till Copernicus put forth his revolutionary thought.

The popular and tradition-bound terms “sunrise”, “sunset” are misnomers in the context of the Copernican system; “appearance” and “disappearance” of the Sun may be appropriate terms at the dawn and dusk respectively.

Nicolaus Copernicus Scientist’s father died when Nicolaus was ten years young. His uncle Lucas Waczenrode adopted this boy.

At Nicolaus Copernicus Scientist’s age of 18 years he entered the University of Cracow in Poland. Further training was obtained in the University of Bologna and Padua in Italy.

Nicolaus Copernicus Scientist studied Greek language, mathematics and the writings of Plato, law and medicine. He was granted the degree of ‘Doctor of Canon law’ by the University of Ferrara.

Columbus travelled across the ocean and discovered America when Nicolaus was aged 19.

In 1503 at his age of 30 he returned to Poland to take care of his ailing uncle, Bishop Lucas, after whose death Nicolaus settled in Frauenburg.

A turret known as Copernicus Tower in the Cathedral stands in testimony of his fame; it was his observatory.

Nicolaus Copernicus Scientist gave succinct account of the orbits of the planets, the motions of the earth, the moon and the planets. This enabled a precise Gregorian calendar to be devised later on.

In 1509 Nicolaus Copernicus Scientist made Latin translation of Greek verses, Theophylactus.

1519 to 1528 Copernicus devised ideas in currency reform for some Polish provinces. Later Sir Issac Newton adopted similar suggestions to the Government in Britain.

  • In B.C. a Greek astronomer, Aristarchus of Samos had advanced a theory that the Sun was at the centre of the Universe but could not prove; hence it was ignored and relegated to the background.
  • Occasion arose to Copernicus nearly 1800 years later, to prove this fact that in the midst of all dwells the ‘Sun’.

Rheticus, a German genius scientist, a faithful disciple of Nicolaus Copernicus urged him to publish his book De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium popularly called “Revolutions” – English translation “On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres”. This ranks in its importance with “Principia” of Newton.

It saw the light of the day on the last day of his life on May 24, 1543 when he was on his deathbed.

Orbis terrarum (L) [the   whole   world]  respects Copernicus.

Never mistake motion for action.

–  Ernest Hemingway
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Did you know? Serendipity in geography

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Angel Falls: highest waterfall in the world; water falls from a height of 3,281 feet from the top to the base.