The Nicolaus Copernicus biography - why is he called the founder of modern astronomy?
That's a good question. Actually, like the Solar System, the Nicolaus Copernicus biography
centers around the Sun and the Heliocentric theory
. Heliocentrism is the belief that the Sun is at the center of the Solar System. Nicolaus Copernicus is the first person to propose this idea. He's called the founder of modern astronomy because of it. Most people of his time believed the idea of a geocentric
Solar System. They thought the planets revolved around Earth.
Ground breaking ideas
His ideas changed the way people thought about the nature of the Earth and its relationship to the Sun, the Solar System, and its place in the Solar System. For this reason, Copernicus is considered to be the father of modern astronomy.
Copernicus growing up
He lived from 1473 to 1543 and was born in Torun, Poland. His father, a wealthy copper trader, died when he was only ten years old. His mother preceded his father in death, so he went to live with an uncle. His uncle, Lucas Watzenrode, held an important position within the Catholic church. This gave Copernicus the opportunity to study astronomy.
Pursuing an education
Copernicus entered the Cracow Academy in 1491, where he began his study of astronomy. After he started studying it, he couldn't get enough of it.Which is a good thing,because his theories and ideas are considered some of the most important in all of science.
After studying for four years at the Cracow Academy, Copernicus decided to travel to Italy to study law at Padua. While at Padua, he came across writings from the ancients about the movements of the Earth.
He must have gotten a spark of inspiration from reading the work of the ancient astronomers, because he began to formulate his own ideas and observations about what would come to be called Heliocentrism, shortly after that.
Putting pen to paper
The Nicolaus Copernicus biography might never have been written if it were not for a young professor and mathematician named Georg Rheticus.
You see, even though Copernicus felt strongly that the Sun was indeed at the center of the Solar System, it's easy to see why he might have been afraid to publish something announcing his theory to the world. After all, his theory went against the prevailing beliefs of the day, and it would eventually spark a religious controversy.
A pupil's prodding
Rheticus became a pupil of Copernicus after meeting him,and stayed with him for two years. During this time, Rheticus wrote a book called Narrato Prima. It gave a rough overview of Heliocentrism. He then pressured Copernicus to publish a more detailed version of his theory. We can thank Rheticus for making the Nicolaus Copernicus biography worth reading.
De revolutionibus orbium coelestium
The crowning achievement of the Nicolaus Copernicus biography has to be the publication of his life's work. The publication took many years of research and hard work to put together, and it's considered one of the major advances in the history of science itself.
Return to the top of this Nicolaus Copernicus biography page