Article By : rotation
- BY KATHY CECERI
- 1:22 AM
Google’s Doodle for February 19 is a stately animation of the movement of the planets around the sun. The lovely diagram illustrates the theories of Nicolaus Copernicus, the Polish astronomer whose naked-eye observations of the planets led him to the conclusion that the sun was the true center around which everything else revolved.
Nicolaus Copernicus NASA article was born on this day in 1473. Fifty years before Galileo built his telescope, Copernicus determined the true movement of the planets, as well as the Earth’s rotation.
His findings were condemned in his time (and weren’t too popular by the time Galileo began proving them, either). He died in 1543 and was buried in an unmarked grave.
Interestingly, in 2005 a skeleton believed to be Copernicus’ was found under floor tiles near one of the side altars in a 14th-century Roman Catholic cathedral in Poland. Three years later, forensic facial reconstruction of the skull and DNA matching with hairs taken from a book in Sweden that was owned by Copernicus confirmed that the bones were his.
In today’s Google Doodle, the planets quietly circle the sun, just as Copernicus described. Happy birthday, Nicolaus Copernicus!