NICOLAUS COPERNICUS WAS BORN TO NICOLAUS COPERNICUS AND BARBARA WATZENRODE ON 19TH FEBRUARY 1473 IN TORUN, POLAND. HE WAS NAMED AFTER HIS FATHER. HIS ORIGINAL NAME WAS SPLIT AS NIKOLAUS KOPERNIKUS OR MIKOLAJ KOPERNIK. HE KNEW GERMAN, POLISH, LATIN, GREEK AND ITALIA. HE WAS THE FOUNDER OF MODERN ASTRONOMY AND IS REGARDED AS THE FATHER OF ASTRONOMY. WHILE PREPARING FOR A CAREER IN A CHURCH, HE WAS BOUND TO LEARN ABOUT ASTROLOGY WHICH DROVE THE PATH FOR HIS INVENTIONS IN MODERN ASTRONOMY. TODAY IS 541ST BIRTHDAY OF THIS EMINENT PERSON.
While a student, he contradicted many facts that were taught to him about astronomy. Earlier the teachings of Ptolemy were considered to be correct. It stated that the earth was at the center of the Universe. Copernicus denied this fact and contradicted it. Later when he was pursuing medicine, he developed a keen interest to learn about the motion of the celestial bodies. His motivation at the time was rooted in the planetary tables of orbits at the time. Those tables had the orbits of other planets based on Earth being stationary, and Copernicus felt that it would be easier to determine the orbits by plotting them from the Sun as the center, as opposed to the Earth. This was the birth of Copernicus heliocentric system.
His investigations and researches on this concept made him write a book The Little Commentary, in 1514, which set out Copernicus’ theory of a Universe with the Sun at its center. It was a theoretical description of the world’s heliocentric mechanism, without any mathematical apparatus. It was based on the assumptions regarding Earth’s triple motions. By postulating only the rotation of the Earth, revolution about the Sun, and tilt of Earth’s rotational axis, Copernicus could explain the observed motion of the heavens. According to him, Earth was just another planet which has a moon revolving around it and stars are objects which do not revolve around the sun. Earth is assumed to rotate around the sun once in 24 hours. He proposed that Earth’s motion through space caused the retrograde motion of the planets across the night sky. According to him,
He delayed publishing his article for the fear of criticisms on the validity of his theory. The results of his observations of Mars and Saturn?in this period, and especially a series of four observations of the Sun?made in 1515, led to discovery of the variability of Earth’s eccentricity and of the movement of the solar peak in relation to the fixed stars, which in 1515 to 19 prompted his first revisions of certain assumptions of his system. In 1526 he wrote a study on the value of money, Monetae cudendae ratio. He also, in 1517, set down a quantity theory of money, a principal concept in economics to the present day.