Google honors heliocentric pioneer Copernicus - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Google honors heliocentric pioneer Copernicus

This screen grab shows the Google doodle honoring the 540th birthday of Nicolaus Copernicus. This screen grab shows the Google doodle honoring the 540th birthday of Nicolaus Copernicus.
  • InternationalMore>>

  • Can anything stop foreign government favors to Trump?

    Can anything stop foreign government favors to Trump?

    Wednesday, May 23 2018 12:43 AM EDT2018-05-23 04:43:58 GMT
    Wednesday, May 23 2018 3:24 AM EDT2018-05-23 07:24:41 GMT
    (AP Photo/Andy Wong, File). FILE - In this Nov. 9, 2017, file photo, U.S. President Donald Trump, right, chats with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Critics fear foreign government favor...(AP Photo/Andy Wong, File). FILE - In this Nov. 9, 2017, file photo, U.S. President Donald Trump, right, chats with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Critics fear foreign government favor...
    Quid pro Trump? Critics fear nothing to stop foreign government favors to Trump businesses.More >>
    Quid pro Trump? Critics fear nothing to stop foreign government favors to Trump businesses.More >>
  • Congo announces 6 new confirmed cases of Ebola virus

    Congo announces 6 new confirmed cases of Ebola virus

    Tuesday, May 22 2018 8:22 AM EDT2018-05-22 12:22:43 GMT
    Wednesday, May 23 2018 3:24 AM EDT2018-05-23 07:24:21 GMT
    (AP Photo/John Bompengo). A health worker prepares an Ebola vaccine to administer to health workers during a vaccination campaign in Mbandaka, Congo Monday, May 21, 2018. Congo's health minister says a nurse has died from Ebola in Bikoro, the rural nor...(AP Photo/John Bompengo). A health worker prepares an Ebola vaccine to administer to health workers during a vaccination campaign in Mbandaka, Congo Monday, May 21, 2018. Congo's health minister says a nurse has died from Ebola in Bikoro, the rural nor...
    Congo announces 6 new confirmed Ebola cases as vaccination effort enters 2nd day.More >>
    Congo announces 6 new confirmed Ebola cases as vaccination effort enters 2nd day.More >>
  • Body of Pakistani killed at Texas school arrives in Karachi

    Body of Pakistani killed at Texas school arrives in Karachi

    Wednesday, May 23 2018 2:03 AM EDT2018-05-23 06:03:20 GMT
    Wednesday, May 23 2018 3:24 AM EDT2018-05-23 07:24:06 GMT
    (AP Photo/Fareed Khan). Family members and others carry the casket of Sabika Sheikh, Pakistani exchange student killed in a mass shooting at a high school in Texas, upon arrival at her home in Karachi, Pakistan, Wednesday, May 23, 2018. Her body has ar...(AP Photo/Fareed Khan). Family members and others carry the casket of Sabika Sheikh, Pakistani exchange student killed in a mass shooting at a high school in Texas, upon arrival at her home in Karachi, Pakistan, Wednesday, May 23, 2018. Her body has ar...
    The body of a 17-year-old Pakistani exchange student killed in a mass shooting at a high school in Texas has arrived in the port city of Karachi, where her family lives.More >>
    The body of a 17-year-old Pakistani exchange student killed in a mass shooting at a high school in Texas has arrived in the port city of Karachi, where her family lives.More >>

(RNN) – Today we know the sun is center of the solar system thanks to Nicolaus Copernicus, who is responsible for challenging the Roman Catholic Church in the name of science.

Google has celebrated his 540th birthday today with a doodle.

Copernicus challenged geocentric, or Earth as the center of the solar system, ideas with the publication of On the Revolution of the Heavenly Spheres in 1543.

Copernicus, born Feb. 19, 1473, was not the first to present a heliocentric, or sun-centered, theory of the solar system, but his model was explained in greater detail and with better accuracy than the work of Greek astronomer Aristarchus. Aristarchus' theory was presented in 270 B.C., but the theory was rejected centuries later by the Roman Catholic Church, which was a staunch supporter of geocentrism.

Copernicus dedicated Heavenly Spheres to Pope Paul III, who was the reigning pontiff at the time. Nevertheless, his theory was considered heretical because it went against the church's teachings because of an interpretation of Psalm 93 that the Earth was "immovable and firm." Copernicus died shortly after the book's publication, and the church banned it for 300 years.

In addition to a sun-centered solar system, Copernicus asserted the moon orbited Earth, stars don't move and only appear to because the Earth is moving, planets don't revolve around a fixed point, stars are much further away from Earth than the sun and the Earth's orbit is spherical.

Copernicus' ideas we later expanded and improved on by Johannes Kepler, who modified the theory to include elliptical orbits, which was later confirmed by Galileo Galilei. Isaac Newton used his research on gravity to explain heliocentrism in 1687, but it wasn't until 1758 that the Roman Catholic Church began to soften its stance.

In 1822, Pope Pius VII allowed heliocentric books to be published in Rome.

Google's doodle contains an animated model of the solar system with the sun taking the place of the second O in its logo. Six planets revolve around the sun, including the Earth, which has the moon revolving around it.

Copyright 2013 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly