According to the NASA, Nicolaus Copernicus developed the heliocentric theory of astronomy and determined that Earth rotates on its axis. Born in 1473, Copernicus is known as the father of astronomy, paving the way for other astronomers, such as Galileo, to make later advancements.Continue Reading
According to NASA, Nicolaus Copernicus is most famous for the heliocentric, also known as sun-centered, theory of astronomy. The heliocentric theory is the theory that the planets orbit around the sun. Before Copernicus, the main scientific belief was Ptolemy's geocentric theory, which stated that Earth was the center of the universe and that the sun and planets revolved around it. Because his theory directly opposed what the majority of people believed, Copernicus faced a great deal of opposition from both the Catholic Church and the scientific community of the 15th century.
Because Copernicus did not have access to a telescope and was forced to observe the sky with the naked eye, he could not prove the heliocentric theory and died in 1543 before it was proven correct. By the 17th century, however, future astronomers, such as Galileo, were able to prove Copernicus' geocentric theory as correct by using both observations from telescopes and breakthroughs in physics.Learn more about Inventions
Nicolas Copernicus was a Polish astronomer who discovered that the Earth and other planets revolve around the sun. This heliocentric system replaced the prevailing theory that the Earth was the center of the universe and the sun revolved around it.Full Answer >
Copernicus discovered that the planets revolved around the sun, rather than around the Earth. Called the heliocentric model of the solar system, the concept was at odds with the conventional wisdom of the time, which held that all heavenly bodies rotated around the Earth.Full Answer >
In astronomy, the term "diurnal motion" refers to the movement of stars around the Earth's celestial poles due to the planet's rotation on its axis. This movement is called a diurnal circle.Full Answer >
James Hutton, an 18th century Scottish scientist who specialized in geology later in life, developed a theory of uniformitarianism of geologic formations of the Earth. This theory states that the forces that shape the planet in the present day are the same as what formed the surface in the past.Full Answer >