Daily Archives: March 5, 2016

Four Hundred Years Ago Today …

The Catholic Church attempts to return the world to the Dark Ages when they ban Nicolaus Copernicus’ book: De revolutionibus orbium coelestium where he puts forward the correct heliocentric theory that the Sun is the centre of our solar system (which was essentially the known Universe at that time).

And while he was not the first to do so, as Aristarchus of Samos had posited such a theory almost 1,900 years earlier, it was the seminal work on the matter during the Renaissance and one of the most detailed as Copernicus went to great detail to reconcile the known orbits of the planets with his heliocentric model. The only drawback of Copernicus’ model (published in 1543) was that he held onto the circular orbits of the Ptolemaic system (that put the earth at the centre), something not corrected until Kepler posited that the orbits were actually elliptical in 1609.