Essay on Nicolai Copernicus

1208 Words 5 Pages
Nicolaus Copernicus

Have you ever wondered who discovered that the sun is the center of our universe? If so, the answer is Nicolai Copernicus. This man was a well-respected as well as well educated man. He explored many different subjects including mathematics, medicine, canon law, and his favorite astronomy. The Earth-centered universe of Aristotle and Ptolemy were Western thinking for almost 2000 years until the 16th century when Copernicus proposed his theory.

Copernicus was born on February 19, 1473 in Thorn, Poland. He was the youngest son of four children and the son of a prosperous merchant. Following his father's death, his Uncle Lukas Watzelrode, bishop of Ermland, adopted him. Copernicus began his studies in Thorn and then
…show more content…
This called for Epicycles, an orbit upon another orbit. This meant the planets made a second revolution in an orbit tangent to the original orbit around the Earth, which made the system very cluttered and difficult to understand.3 Copernicus did not do away with the Epicycles, but by moving the sun to the center there were much less Epicycles which intern made everything easier to understand. He called this system the Heliocentric System. The sun was the center and the earth was just another planet that revolved around the sun. The stars where distant objects that do not revolve, because the earth rotates once in 24 hours the stars appear to revolve around the Earth in the opposite direction.

Both scholars and the church accepted the Ptolemaic system. Copernicus hesitated to announce his heliocentric view for fear of a trail for heresy.4 The Ptolemaic system could easily be believed if one assumed the Christian belief that the Earth was the center of the universe God created. People were afraid to believe a theory that went against the Bible's teachings. His friends who were interested in his theories persuaded him to write at least an abstract for them. He entitled it the Commentariolus (Commentary). This commentary stated his theory in the form of seven axioms, reserving the mathematical part for the principle work. From this, the doctrine of the heliocentric system began to spread.

A few years later Cardinal Schonberg, then Archbishop of Capua urged
Open Document