How did Copernicus die?


Quick Answer

According to the New Mexico Museum of Space History, Nicolaus Copernicus, noted Polish astronomer, died on May 24, 1543 of a cerebral hemorrhage. He was 70 years old at the time.

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Full Answer

Copernicus first saw a printed copy of his masterpiece, "De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium", translated into "On the Revolutions," while on his deathbed in 1543. His heliocentric conclusion contested the popular geocentric theory, which was supported by the Roman Catholic Church at the time.

According to the University at St. Andrews in Scotland, publication of his work was marred by an anonymous preface titled "Ad Lectorem." This preface denied that "On the Revolutions" made any factual claims about cosmology, and it would take hundreds of years from his death for the Copernican Revolution to find popular support.

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