Thursday, April 23, 2015

Nikolas Copernicus the Astronomer

Copernicus (February 14, 1473 – May 24, 1543) was not only a great astronomer, but also a painter and philosopher. Mankind should ever be grateful to the Polish astronomer Nikolas Copernicus, for giving the right answer to the riddle of the universe.

Copernicus and Columbus were contemporaries. While Columbus was discovering a new continent, Copernicus propounded a new theory of the universe.

Before Copernicus, the prevalent astronomical belief was that the earth was the centre of the universes and the sun and other stars and planets revolved round the earth.

After 30 years of study and without the help of even a telescope — the telescope was invented much later — Copernicus put forward his theory that the earth moved round the sun, like a top spinning on its own axis and along an oval orbit and the moon moved around the earth. Other planets like Jupiter, Saturn, Mars, Venus, Mercury and so on moved around the sun, which was the centre of our universe.

Some foolish contemporaries of Copernicus ridiculed his findings and sent clowns to villages to tell the people of the immovable earth and the moving sun — “things which any fool can see” — and laugh at Copernicus, “the crazy priest” who said that the earth moved and the sun stood still. Copernicus was not angry with his critics. He said: “Let them be. The movement of the heavenly bodies will be influended not in the least either by ridicule or by the respect of these foolish men.”

Copernicus, the great astronomer, had also tried his hand at painting, philosophy and medicine. He was a repository of kindness and wisdom

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