Google doodle celebrates 540th birthday of Nicolaus Copernicus

By Staff /  19 Feb 2013 , 11:52

Google’s doodle today celebrates the 540th birth anniversary of Nicolaus Copernicus, the 15th century Renaissance mathematician and astronomer.

Today’s Google doodle has an animated heliocentric model which was formulated by the Polish astronomer. The doodle shows the sun at the centre of the universe with the planets revolving around it. It also depicts the then known five other planets – Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn – revolving around the sun. The Earth also has the moon revolving around it.

The Google logo can be seen in the backdrop and the second O in the word has been replaced by the sun.

Screengrab of today's Google Doodle.
Screengrab of today’s Google Doodle.

Nicolaus Copernicus was born on 19 February, 1473 in Poland . He is best known for his treatise De revolutionibus orbium coelestiu or On the Revolution of the Celestial Spheres, where he argued that it was not the earth that was the centre of the universe but rather the earth revolved around the sun.

This was of course against the Church’s doctrine that the earth was the centre of the universe.

Copernicus’ treatise in fact was not published until 1543, the year he died as fate would have it. Copernicus’ theory of celestial spheres was later extensively used by Kepler and Galileo in their works.

Copernicus died on 24 May 1543.

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