Interesting facts about Copernicus

Posted on Dec 15, 2021      30

The famous scientist Nicolaus Copernicus was the first in Europe to plan and scientifically justify the heliocentric system of the world, thanks to which he became famous for all the centuries to come. His revolutionary ideas met with resistance from conservatives, so the life of Copernicus was difficult. However, this great mind got his way, and further research showed that he was right.

Facts from Copernicus’ biography

  • The future scientist was born into a merchant family, but he was orphaned early.
  • The city of Torun, where Nicolaus Copernicus was born, belonged to Prussia. However, it soon came to Poland, so he is considered a Polish scientist .
  • It is known that Copernicus’ mother was German. There is little information about his father, but he was definitely from Krakow, and most likely was an ethnic Pole.
  • Nicolaus Copernicus himself made all his notes in Latin or German. Not a single paper has been made by him in Polish.
  • The scientist had two sisters and a brother.
  • During his life, Copernicus never married, nor did he have any descendants. But he took great care of his sister’s children.
  • During his studies at university, Nicholas Copernicus showed excellent results in mathematics and theology, but it was then he was particularly interested in astronomy.
  • For quite a long time, he lived in Italy, where he was a practicing physician.

  • Copernicus’ biography notes the fact that he had the spiritual dignity of a canon, and had certain spiritual duties in his chapter.
  • He studied at two universities, in Poland and Italy, but he did not receive a degree there or there.
  • Copernicus’ first work, revealing the mechanics of celestial bodies, circulated freely at first. However, once the church realized that it was “undermining the foundations,” the book was banned.
  • Officially, the Vatican recognized the rightness of Nicolaus Copernicus only in 1835.
  • In Frombork, where he lived most of his life, he built a machine of his own invention that supplied water to homes and set up a mint there.
  • Copernicus was fluent in the ancient Greek language. The first translation of a text from Ancient Greek into Polish was made by him.
  • The chemical element Copernicus, discovered in 2009, was named after Nicolaus Copernicus.
  • One asteroid discovered by astronomers is also named after Copernicus.

  • In his theory about the rotation of the planets, the scientist made only one significant mistake - he believed the planets orbit the Sun in a circular orbit. Only later Johannes Kepler established the orbits were elliptical, not circular.
  • Copernicus devoted a lot of time to the study of the monetary system, writing several advanced treatises on the subject.
  • He is officially considered being the founder of the first scientific revolution.
  • The church forbade Copernicus’ work “On the rotations of the heavenly spheres” only after Galileo, who did not find favor with the Vatican because of his scientific activities, defended its truthfulness and veracity.
  • Copernicus’ research was probably inspired by the writings of Aristotle, which he had read. Aristotle also assumed that the Earth revolved around the Sun, not the other way around.
  • Throughout his life, Copernicus was not interested in money and power, and therefore led a rather modest life, despite his fame and influence.
  • When the plague struck Europe in 1519, he bravely took to the streets as an ordinary doctor, risking his life. Fortunately Copernicus was not infected, but he relieved the plight of many.
  • No one burned Nicolaus Copernicus at the stake. He lived a long life, and at 70 he died at home.
  • The tomb of Nicolas Copernicus was discovered only in 2005. The authenticity of his remains was confirmed by DNA-testing.