PAUL D STEWART / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PAUL D STEWART / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
A first edition print with later hand colouring of the Universe as propounded by Copernicus in 1543, authored and illustrated by Alain Manesson Mallet in his book "Description de L'Universe" of 1683. The image remained controversial even by that time. The Copernican revolution was long seen as heretical by the Catholic church resulting in a decree against Copernicanism in 1616. In 1633 Gallileo Galilei was convicted of grave suspicion of heresy for "following the position of Copernicus, which is contrary to the true sense and authority of the scripture". He spent the rest of his life under house arrest. There was a general prohibition of books defending heliocentrism issued by the Catholic church until it was dropped in 1758. Copernicus's and Galileo's books were banned by the Catholic Church to the 19th century.
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