Nicolaus Copernicus

Nicolaus Copernicus AstronomerEver wonder who was the one who convinced the world (albeit with great difficulty at the time) that our planet was not the center of the universe and actually revolves around the sun?

Nicolaus Copernicus, (February 1473 – 24 May 1543) who lived during the Renaissance period, was a Polish mathematician and astronomer.

He wrote an article about in his book De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres) just before his death in 1543.

His theories were gradually accepted and consequently triggered the Copernican Revolution, which no doubt made a significant contribution to science.

Copernicus also summarized that the sun turns on its own axis once every 24 hours; and this results in slow changes of the direction of the Earth’s axis called the precession of the equinoxes.

His model of the Sun being the center of the solar system is called heliocentric and this research inspired such great astronomers as Galileo, Kepler, Descartes, and Newton to further pursue his theories.

Copernicus was also a mathematician and as such, he researched the economy. In 1517, he derived a quantity theory of money and created a version of what later became known as Gresham’s law.

Did you know that in 2009, a new element in the periodic table was named in his honor? It is Copernicium (Cn) and is a chemical element atomic number 112. It is extremely radioactive and is a synthetic element that can only be created in a laboratory.

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