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February 18, 2013

Happy Birthday Nicky!

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Nicolaus Copernicus (February 19, 1473) was a Renaissance mathematician and astronomer who formulated a comprehensive heliocentric model which placed the Sun, rather than the Earth, at the center of the universe.

The publication of Copernicus’ epochal book, De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres), just before his death in 1543, is considered a major event in the history of science. It began the Copernican Revolution and contributed importantly to the rise of the ensuing Scientific Revolution. Copernicus’ heliocentric theory placed the Sun at the center of the solar system and described that system’s mechanics in mathematical rather than Aristotelian terms.

Nicolaus Copernicus was born in the city of Torun (Thorn), in the province of Royal Prussia, in the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland. His father was a merchant from Krakow and his mother was the daughter of a wealthy…

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