Nicolaus Copernicus Google Doodle Celebrates Heliocentrism

    February 18, 2013
    Josh Wolford
    Comments are off for this post.

Today, I’d say that we’re at least fairly certain that the Earth (and all the other planets) revolve around the sun, and not the other way around. I don’t want to rule out some crazies out there, I mean, the world does have 7 billion people in it. But let’s just go with it. We know that the heliocentric model for our solar system is the correct one, and we have Nicolaus Copernicus to thank for that.

Not just Copernicus, of course. Heliocentrism wasn’t his idea – it was proposed as early as the 3rd century BC. But Copernicus is credited with forming the comprehensive mathematical heliocentric model and his book De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres) is considered one of the most important works in the history of science.

After the publication of Celestial Spheres, the so-called Copernican Revolution began, ushering the world into the Scientific Revolution.

Copernicus, a true Renaissance Man, served as a mathematician, astronomer, Catholic cleric, artist, physician, economist, and is said to have spoken at least four languages.

Copernicus was born on February 19th, 1473 and died in 1543 at the age of 70. Today’s animated Google Doodle celebrates his 540th birthday.

  • Marceli Firlej

    Great day for us. It also need to discover that Universe also made from other dimensions when Higgs field was created first time.

  • Evie

    How are you writing on Copernicus and still spelling ‘our’ as ‘are’?

  • Matt

    “Australia and the like” – really?

  • Lorin

    I can’t see “Australia or the like” (!) on that 3rd planet out from the Sun. But at least it does seem to have two hemispheres (something that Nth. America doesn’t usually seem aware of) so credits to the designer for that.

  • Kate

    It would have helped to state that this is viewed looking down from the north pole–aside from the position of continents on the Earth. It is a lovely portrayal of the heliocentric view of the planets then known. We southerners get the opposite clockwise view, and hopefully Copernicus was keen to see our skies, too!

  • Andre

    Why do Google celebrity Copernicus his birthday? Becourse they understand? Well.. nobody did when he whas alive..?!

  • Under Rower

    Copernicus merely studied that which already exists. Science cannot answer the core and critical questions to explain our existence. Now that we know the planets revolve around the Sun, the question is how that will affect our worldview? Or, put differently, will it change how you act as a human being? Copernicus is not the issue here – the issue is the complexity of what he noticed and how that which he noticed continues to function at immeasurable odds. Copernicus dims into obscurity in the presence of said questions.

  • Kate

    @ Under Rower. Ridiculous comment. It is a landmark in human consciousness, that a man could brave the stupidity of religious fantasy and observe the universe with clear vision. Everybody celebrate one breakthrough! Now let’s open our eyes to the global challenges ahead. Overpopulation, religious stupidity, species extinction, global warming!

    • Under Rower

      Kate, Copernicus would not have agreed with what you have just said. His worldview included God. The breakthrough was seeing clearly the wonder of the order of our solar system. To use what Copernicus observed as a motivation to set forth a world built singularly on human knowledge is not compatible with the what Copernicus stood for. Your world without God is solar systems removed from Copernicus’ world with God. Copernicus was never in it for himself or humankind.

      • Under Rower

        Kate, are you from Australia?

  • hemant

    Why only 7 planets are shown??
    Is it as per the Heliocentric model?

    • hemant

      Oh sorry.. not 7, just 6!!!
      One in Moon, rotating around the Earth… :)