English I Period 5
7 March 2009
A change in the Earth
Thesis: Nicolaus Copernicus, a Polish astronomer whose ideas were laughed at by people and churches at his time, wrote a book about the solar system that nearly got him killed. Copernicus is considered the founder of modern astronomy for proving the solar system to be heliocentric, or centered around the sun. Born on February 19, 1473, he still came up with the concept after another astronomer was also trying to prove this idea. Aristachus (a Greek astronomer) formulated his idea long before Copernicus; Aristachus said “nobody would listen to the idea, the teachings of Ptolemy have already been dominant for 1,300 years” (“Nicolaus Copernicus” 1). Although Ptolemy’s idea is incorrect, it is more accepted by the churches and the public. As Copernicus’ views became more widely known, it will become more of a challenge toward modern astronomy, due to the lack of supplies, such as telescopes. This being said, not all of his ideas are correct, for example “he made an incorrect theory about planetary orbits, he suggested that all of them move in a perfect circle” (Szumski 27). Although some mistakes were made, the heliocentric model developed by Copernicus, fit the observed data. His ideas were not perfect, but he bettered the ancient Greek teachings of Ptolemy and his Geocentric (centered around the Earth) universe. For these amazing discoveries, Copernicus became known as the father of modern astronomy. During the Renaissance, scientific thinkers attempted to redefine ancient knowledge about the natural world. One of many is astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1545). Copernicus posed a revolutionary theory in De Revolutionibus, a work which expressed his views on the universe and described the planets as revolving around the sun in a semi-circular path. This view contradicted the church-approved theory which stated “the Earth is the center of the universe” (Saari 10). The...
Cited: "Nicolas Copernicus." World of Earth Science. Online. Thomson Gale, 2006.
Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Sugar Land, TX: Gale, 2009. .
"Nicholas Copernicus." World History: The Modern Era. 2009. ABC-CLIO. 10 Feb. 2009 .
Saari, Peggy, and Aaron Saari. Renaissance & Reformation Biographies. New York, New York 2002.
Szumski, Bonnie. The 1600’s Headlines in History. San Diego: Green haven Press, 2001.
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