http://staff.harrisonburg.k12.va.us/~cwalton/World%20Two/copernicus.jpg
http://staff.harrisonburg.k12.va.us/~cwalton/World%20Two/copernicus.jpg

Introduction




Nicolaus Copernicus was an astronomer and mathematician from Poland. Although he was not the first person to theorize that the earth revolved around the sun, he was the first to make a complete and general system, combining physics, mathematics, and cosmology. Copernicus was a pioneer by definition. Most astronomers of his time were more worried about saving their appearances then advancing the worlds' outlook on the "outside". He started from scratch on his theory and make it truly his own.









Contributions



(Photo Provided By:http://csep10.phys.utk.edu/astr161/lect/retrograde/copernican.html)
(Photo Provided By:http://csep10.phys.utk.edu/astr161/lect/retrograde/copernican.html)
He proposed the theory that the sun is on a fixed point. He also stated that the sun turns once daily on its axis. He also presented that that the precession of the equinox was because of the gradual tilt of Earth's axis. This mainly affected later thinkers during the scientific revolution. Although Copernicus was not the very first to to make some of the larger claims that he did, he was the first to go in as much depth as he did. Some of his theories were proven to be false much later. Some were in fact, truth."Finally we shall place the Sun himself at the center of the Universe. All this is suggested by the systematic procession of events and the harmony of the whole Universe, if only we face the facts, as they say, 'with both eyes open'. " - Copernicus

Later Years



Copernicus's theories were far greater than most men have gone in his time, but he was in no hurry to publish them. Parts of his work were circulated among a few of the astronomers. Copernicus' work might not have ever reached the printing press if it had not been for a young man who sought out him in 1539. George Rheticus was a 25 year old German mathematics professor who was drawn to the Coperniucs, after reading one of his papers. Intending to spend a few weeks with Copernicus, Rheticus ended up staying as a house guest for two years. He was very fascinated with Copernicus and his theories.He was not in a hurry because he was a perfectionist, never being content with what he has done. He died in 1543 and never saw how much noise his work made.