Copernicus, Nicolaus
(1473–1543)
The first developed heliocentric theory of the universe in the modern era was presented in De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium, published in the year of Copernicus's death. The system is entirely mathematical, in the sense of predicting the observed position of celestial bodies on the basis of an underlying geometry, without exploring the mechanics of celestial motion. Its mathematical and scientific superiority over the Ptolemaic system was not as direct as popular history suggests: Copernicus's system adhered to circular planetary motion, and let the planets run on 48 epicycles and eccentrics. It was not until the work of Kepler and Galileo that the system became markedly simpler than Ptolemaic astronomy.

Philosophy dictionary. . 2011.

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  • Copernicus, Nicolaus — Polish Mikołaj Kopernik born Feb. 19, 1473, Toruń, Pol. died May 24, 1543, Frauenburg, East Prussia Polish astronomer. He was educated at Kraków, Bologna, and Padua, where he mastered all the knowledge of the day in mathematics, astronomy,… …   Universalium

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  • Copernicus, Nicolaus — (1473 1543)    Polish astronomer, best known for his theory of the universe that placed the sun, rather than the earth, at the center of the system. Born in the Polish city of Torún and orphaned at an early age, Copernicus was supported by an… …   Historical Dictionary of Renaissance

  • Copernicus,Nicolaus — Co·per·ni·cus (kō pûrʹnə kəs, kə ), Nicolaus. 1473 1543. Polish astronomer who advanced the theory that Earth and the other planets revolve around the sun, disrupting the Ptolemaic system of astronomy. * * * …   Universalium

  • Copernicus, Nicolaus — (1473 AD 1543 AD)    This Polish astronomer presented the idea of a Sun centered universe, called the Heliocentric or Sun Centered system.    See Heliocentric Theory, Geocentric Theory and Pythagoras …   The writer's dictionary of science fiction, fantasy, horror and mythology

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