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Google Honors Nicolaus Copernicus’s 540th Birthday

Posted 2/19/2013 5:30 am by

Copernicus-Doodle

Fifty years before Galileo built the modern telescope, there was Nicolaus Copernicus.  The Poland-born astronomer, who was born in 1473, turned all those Polish jokes on their head by being one of the smartest mathematicians who ever lived.  Using only his naked eye and brain, Copernicus discerned the true movements of the planets around the sun and even figured out the earth’s rotation!  In honor of Copernicus’s 540th birthday, Google is honoring him with a mobile doodle.

The Google Doodle depicts the rotation of the earth, as well as the rotation of the planets around a stationary sun, which is both scientifically accurate and a beautiful clockwork tribute to Copernicus’s then-controversial theories about a rounded earth that rotates around a centralized, immobile sun.  Copernicus died in 1543, shortly after the publication of his book On The Revolutions Of The Heavenly Spheres, and was buried in Frombork Cathedral in Poland.

Happy 540th birthday, Nicolaus!

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