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Today is Nikola Kopernik's birthday. He was born 540 years ago in Weil Der Stadt which is in what is now Poland.

He took one of the early steps in liberating us from the errors of the ages. He put the Sun near the center of the solar system and he put the Earth more or less in its right place, racing around the Sun.

Happy Birthday Nick!

Ba'al Chatzaf

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Today is Nikola Kopernik's birthday. He was born 540 years ago in Weil Der Stadt which is in what is now Poland.

He took one of the early steps in liberating us from the errors of the ages. He put the Sun near the center of the solar system and he put the Earth more or less in its right place, racing around the Sun. He realized that the -appearance- of Earth being the Center Of It All was an optical illusion.

Happy Birthday Nick!

Ba'al Chatzaf

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Google had a nice graphic. It does show an elliptical orbit, however. I think, perhaps, that was artistic license to fit the image to the logo. Maybe it was intended as a circle viewed obliquely.

Copernicus (Mikolaj Kopernick) lived 1473-1543, almost the same as Martin Luther (1483 – 1546). Galileo died in January 1642 and Newton was born that following December. By the time of Galileo, the religious wars colored everything, changed all viewpoints. Radical conservatives ruled in Rome, permitting no leeway in discussions on anything, lest it add to the Reformation they resisted. History plays cruel tricks. If the heliocentric theory had been proposed in 1343, it might have been accepted easier. The medieval church was very supportive of astronomy because of the problem of Easter: first Sunday, after the first full moon, after the Vernal Equinox; similar to Passover in timing.

Medieval astronomers worked out Easter for 250 years forward and when the discrepancies were impossible to ignore decades later, new tables were computed. They knew they had a fundamental problem. The astrolabe of the Arabs was welcomed.

Were it not for the Reformation, Copernicus might not have waited for his deathbed before he published.

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