Nicolaus Copernicus, the man responsible for making the notion of the Earth revolving around the sun popular, has been honoured with a Google Doodle. The search engine giant has created a doodle to mark the 540th birthday of the famed mathematician and astronomer. The current Google Doodle depicts the earth and the planets revolving around the sun.
Famous for his treatise, ‘On the Revolution of the Celestial Spheres’, Copernicus asserted that the earth revolved around the sun, a radically opposite view to the ideology present at that time, which suggested that the Earth was at the centre of the universe. The belief at that time was based on the teachings of Ptolemy through his Almagest circa 150 CE.
Copernicus challenged the existing idea, but his findings and expressions about the celestial spheres were not published untill 1543, his year of death due to suspicion of the Church. Heliocentricism, as it is called, had its share of challenges and one of its ardent advocates, Italian cleric Giordano Bruno, was burned at the stake as a heretic in 1600.
The notion of the earth revolving around the sun became a foundation for observing celestial bodies for the next generation. Galileo and Kepler based their theories on the work of Nicolaus Copernicus. It is reported that Copernicus died on the day when the first copy of his book, De revolutionibus, saw the light of the day.
The Polish astronomer has been reportedly reburied in Poland 467 years after his death. Nicolaus Copernicus was a part of the Renaissance era, which witnessed many great personalities.