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Copernicus' book. Title page of Copernicus' famous book De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the revolutions of the celestial spheres, published in 1543). In this book, Copernicus (1473-1543) stated that the Sun was the centre of the universe, and all the planets orbited it. This heliocentric model contrasted with the model described by Ptolemy over 1000 years before, which held that the universe was Earth-centred. The Ptolemaic model was favoured by the Roman Catholic church. Copernicus, fearing persecution, delayed publication of his book until just before his death. The book was banned by the Roman Catholic church from 1616 to 1835.
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