Nicolaus Copernicus was born on this day 547 years ago.

Nicolaus Copernicus monument by the Danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsenin front of the Pałac Staszica on the Nowy Świat.

547 years ago, on February 19th, 1473, one of the greatest scientists in the history of the world was born in Toruń. Nicolaus Copernicus… it was extraordinary discoveries in the Middle Ages, an epoch when science and religion didn’t work well together.

Nicolaus Copernicus was an astronomer, a doctor, a mathematician but also a canon… He also spoke fluently several languages: German, Polish, Latin, Greek, Italian, he also has notions in Hebrew. His greatest discovery is heliocentrism, in other words, the fact that the Earth rotates around the sun. He is not behind this theory indeed Archimedes or Plutarch had emitted this theory in the 3rd century BC, but he confirmed it. That discovery was in complete contradiction with religious dictates and cost his life. Before, earth was considered to be the center of the universe called geocentrism. That discovery was a total breakthrough which will be qualified as “the Copernican revolution”. This discovery will allow calculating not only the distance earth-sun but also distances between the other solar system known planets by Johannes Kepler and later Isaac Newton’s Theory of Gravity.

Nicolaus Copernicus died in Frauenburg on May 24th, 1543. For a long time his precise burial place remained unknown, but in 2005 remains were found in Frauenburg Cathedral in northern Poland. And, on May 22, 2010, these remains were identified as Copernicus’ thanks to scientific research based on the DNA extracted from hair found in a book he worked with whom he worked all his life ‘Calendarium Romanum Magnum‘.

A bit of humour with the soul of Copernicus in Pixar’s film ‘Soul’.


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