GARY BROWN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY GARY BROWN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Copernicus. Caricature of the Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543), holding the Sun in his hands. Copernicus is best known for his theory that the Earth revolves around the Sun, and not the other way round. The idea was revolutionary at the time, as it flew in the face of the religious dogma. Copernicus published his theory in the year of his death in the manuscript De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium (On the Revolutions of Heavenly Spheres). However, it was not until Galileo championed the theory some 60 years later that it attracted the wrath of the church.
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