Nicholas Copernicus – Founder of Astronomy Essay
Nicholas Copernicus is considered to be the founder of modern astronomy. He was born in Poland in 1473. After his childhood dreams of astronomy, he was sent off to Krakow University to study mathematics and optics. Later, returning from studying religious law in Italy, Copernicus, through the influence of his uncle, was appointed cannon in the Cathedral of Frauenberg.
In the next few years, Copernicus continued his studies of astronomy alone in his church. He made most of his observations from a turret situated on a protective wall around the cathedral. In 1530, after more than thirty years of intense study, Copernicus completed his great work, “De Revolutionibus”, which presented the theory that the earth rotated on its axis and made one complete revolution daily, and, at the same time, traveled around the sun once yearly.
This was a fantastic concept for the sixteenth century! All great thinkers of that age believed that the earth was the center of the universe, and heavenly bodies revolved around our planet. Copernicus died in 1543, His life had been a sheltered and academic one. He never knew what controversy his work had caused. The church argued that man was next to God and was therefore superior to any other thing. But Copernicus forever changed the place of man in the universe. Man, according to this great scientist, was just a part of nature and should take his place among other living things, not dominate them.