- Year of Discovery: A.D. 1520
- What Is It? The sun is the center of the universe and the earth rotates around it.
- Who Discovered It? Nicholaus Copernicus
- Why Is This One of the Science Greatest?
Copernicus measured and observed the planets and stars. He gathered, compiled, and compared the observations of dozens of other astronomers. In so doing Copernicus challenged a 2,000-year-old belief that the earth sat motionless at the center of the universe and that planets, sun, and stars rotated around it. His work represents the beginning point for our understanding of the universe around us and of modern astronomy.
He was also the first to use scientific observation as the basis for the development of a scientific theory. (Before his time logic and thought had been the basis for theory.) In this way Copernicus launched both the field of modern astronomy and modern scientific methods.
- Fun Facts: Approximately one million Earths can fit inside the sun. But that is slowly changing. Some 4.5 pounds of sun light hit the earth each second.
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