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During the Renaissance, some branches of science made great strides. But scientific discoveries were not always well regarded by the authorities of the Catholic Church. Some scientists were forced to hide their experiments and inventions as they could be accused of heresy. This was the case of the Polish astronomer Nicholas Copernicus (1473 - 1543).
Copernicus revolutionized science by showing that the earth revolves around the sun. The church was perplexed by this theory because, according to her theologians, the earth was flat, motionless, the center of the universe: the sun revolved around it.
The Copernican scientist was the first to prove that the earth revolves around the sun.
A son of a wealthy family, Copernicus was raised by an uncle who was a bishop and made him a member of the Church. Early on, however, he sought to develop studies that extended religious explanation to the world and nature.
At the age of 18, Copernicus was already studying astronomy and mathematics at the University of Krakow, Poland. After passing through the Italic peninsula, where he perfected his knowledge, he imagined the double movement of the planets: the rotation and the translation.
16th century painting depicting Copernicus on top of his observatory peering into the sky.
To develop his theories, he installed an observatory on top of a tower. There he spent nights and days observing the sky. Copernicus made numerous calculations with instruments of his own making. Everything he discovered pointed to the same result: the sun does not move; It is in the center of a set of planets that revolve around it.
The astronomer also explained the existence of seasons and the length of days and nights.
Copernicus's theories were only accepted by the Church more than a century after his death.