Copernican Revolution

The Copernican Revolution was the paradigm shift from the Ptolemaic model of the heavens, which described the cosmos as having Earth stationary at the centre of the universe (right) , to the heliocentric model with the Sun at the centre of the Solar System (left). Beginning with the publication of Nicolaus Copernicus’s De revolutionizes orbium coelestium, contributions to the “revolution” continued until finally ending with Isaac Newton’s work over a century later.

Apparent_retrograde_motionIn the Ptolemaic (earth centred) model of the universe ‘epicycles’ needed to be added to explain the apparent motion of the planets as observed from earth. With the Sun at the centre, these ‘epicycles’ were no longer required.

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