Nicolaus theory that existed at the time of
Nicolaus CopernicusHis Life:Throughout history people have always looked up at the sky and wonderedabout the universe. Some just wonder while others attempt to solve this mystery.One of the people who had endeavored to solve it was Nicolaus Copernicus.
Copernicus was born in the present day town of Torun, Poland inFebruary of 1473. While still a young boy, Copernicus was put in custody of hisuncle when his father died. His uncle made sure that his nephew got the besteducation they could obtain. This is how Copernicus was able to enter theUniversity of Krakow, which was well known for its mathematics, and astronomyprograms.
After finishing in Krakow, he was inspired to further his education bygoing to the University of Bologna in Italy. While there, he roomed withDomenico Maria de Novara, the mathematics professor. In 1500, Copernicuslectured in Rome and in the next year, obtained permission to study medicine atPadua. Before returning to Poland, he received a doctorate in canon law from theUniversity of Ferrara.Copernicus lived with his uncle in his bishopric palace. While he stayedthere he published his first book which was a translation of letters written bythe 7th century writer, Theophylactus of Simocatta.
After that he wrote anastronomical discourse that laid the foundation of his heliocentric theory; thetheory that the sun is the center of our solar system. However, it was 400 yearsbefore it was published.After leaving his uncle, he wrote a treatise on money, and began thework for which he is most famous, On the Revolution of the Celestial Spheres,which took him almost 15 years to write. It is ironic that what he devoted agood part of his life would not be published until he was on his deathbed.His Theory:To understand the contribution Copernicus made to the astrologicalcommunity, you first need to understand the theory that had been accepted at thetime of Copernicus.The question of the arrangement of the planets arose about 4000 BC. Atthis time the Mesopotamians believed that the earth was at the center of theuniverse and that other heavenly bodies moved around the earth.
This belief wassynonymously know as geocentric. They believed this, but they had no scientificproof to support it.It was not until the 2nd century that the famous astronomer, Ptolemy,gave an explanation for the movement of the stars across the sky, that thegeocentric theory began to become creditable.That was the theory that existed at the time of Copernicus. Copernicuswas not the first one to come up with the idea of a sun-centered (heliocentric)universe. Not too long after Ptolemy theorized about the movement of the starsthere was a man by the name of Aristarchus of Samos. He was the first one topropose the idea of a sun-centered universe.
The stipulations of Copernicus’s theory are: The earth rotates on itsaxis daily and rotates around the sun yearly The other planets circle theearth As the earth rotates it wobbles like a top The stars are stationary The greater the radius of a planet’s orbit, the more time it takes to make onecomplete circuit around the sun All these concepts seem totally logical to us,however most 16th century readers were not ready to accept that the earthrotated around the sun. It may seem weird but the calculations that Copernicusmade were not much more accurate than his predecessors, however most of histheory was accepted, while the radical ones were omitted.The one concept that was not liked was that the earth moved around thesun. To deal with this dilemma, Tycho Brahe met Copernicus and Ptolemy halfwayby making the earth a stationary object while the planets orbited the sun in thecenter.
The rotating earth idea was not revived until the English philosopherIsaac Newton started explaining celestial mechanics.