GIANNI TORTOLI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY GIANNI TORTOLI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Copernican solar system. Wooden armillary sphere showing the Sun-centred (heliocentric) model of the solar system, revived by the Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus in 1543. His theory replaced the inaccurate Ptolomaic system, which held that heavenly objects moved about a stationary Earth. Copernicus placed the Sun at the centre of the solar system with the planets in circular orbits around it. The orbits of the five closest planets to the Sun are shown in this model. The Earth and its moon are mounted so they can move around the Sun. This armillary sphere was made by Jean Pigeon of Paris in around 1725 and is kept in the Museum of History of Science in Florence, Italy.
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