Copernicus - so what has he got to do with gravity and space
- he was one of the first people to say Aristotle was wrong
about the Earth being at the centre of everything.
was born in 1473 and he decided it would be much easier to
work out the positions of the planets if the Sun was at the
centre of the universe.
based his ideas on a lot of naked eye astronomy. He used to
look at the stars from a turret in the grounds of the cathedral
where he was canon in Frauenburg, Germany.
wrote a book called De Revolutionibus - in this book
he came up with the idea that the Earth turns around once
on its axis daily and that it takes a year for the Earth to
go around the Sun!
That was quite
amazing to say in those days.
his book published on or near his death but the church wrote
a forward to the book saying that it was all theory...
Having new ideas
about the universe didn't go down too well with the church
in those days. If you came out and said it Copernicus's theory
was true you might be burned at the stake by the Spanish Inquisition
like the unfortunate Italian astronomer
By the way did
you know there's a crater on the far side of the moon named
after Copernicus - click here
to see it.