Astrolabe and portrait of Copernicus

Astrolabe and portrait of Copernicus

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Credit: BABAK TAFRESHI/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Portrait of the astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543), and an astrolabe. These are exhibits in the Nicolaus Copernicus House Museum, Torun, Poland. Nicolaus Copernicus was born in Torun. He developed a model of the universe that placed the Sun at its centre rather than the Earth. His ideas conflicted with contemporary Roman Catholic doctrine which held that the Universe was Earth-centred, as described by Ptolemy over a thousand years before. The astrolabe is a historical astronomical device used to predict the positions of the stars and other astronomical bodies. It can also be used to determine local time from local latitude, and vice-versa.

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