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Nicolaus Copernicus Quotes


A Renaissance astronomer and the first person to formulate a comprehensive heliocentric cosmology, which displaced the Earth from the center of the universe.
(1473 - 1543)

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Accordingly, since nothing prevents the earth from moving, I suggest that we should now consider also whether several motions suit it, so that it can be regarded as one of the planets. For, it is not the center of all the revolutions.
 

Although all the good arts serve to draw man's mind away from vices and lead it toward better things, this function can be more fully performed by this art, which also provides extraordinary intellectual pleasure.
 

At rest, however, in the middle of everything is the sun.
 

Finally we shall place the Sun himself at the center of the Universe.
 

First of all, we must note that the universe is spherical.
 

For a traveler going from any place toward the north, that pole of the daily rotation gradually climbs higher, while the opposite pole drops down an equal amount.
 

For I am not so enamoured of my own opinions that I disregard what others may think of them.
 

For it is the duty of an astronomer to compose the history of the celestial motions through careful and expert study.
 

I am aware that a philosopher's ideas are not subject to the judgment of ordinary persons, because it is his endeavour to seek the truth in all things, to the extent permitted to human reason by God.
 

I can easily conceive, most Holy Father, that as soon as some people learn that in this book which I have written concerning the revolutions of the heavenly bodies, I ascribe certain motions to the Earth, they will cry out at once that I and my theory should be rejected.
[Bodies]
 

I shall now recall to mind that the motion of the heavenly bodies is circular, since the motion appropriate to a sphere is rotation in a circle.
[Bodies]
 

In so many and such important ways, then, do the planets bear witness to the earth's mobility.
 

Mathematics is written for mathematicians.
 

More stars in the north are seen not to set, while in the south certain stars are no longer seen to rise.
 

Moreover, since the sun remains stationary, whatever appears as a motion of the sun is really due rather to the motion of the earth.
 

Near the sun is the center of the universe.
 

Not a few other very eminent and scholarly men made the same request, urging that I should no longer through fear refuse to give out my work for the common benefit of students of Mathematics.
 

Of all things visible, the highest is the heaven of the fixed stars.
 

Pouring forth its seas everywhere, then, the ocean envelops the earth and fills its deeper chasms.
 

So far as hypotheses are concerned, let no one expect anything certain from astronomy, which cannot furnish it, lest he accept as the truth ideas conceived for another purpose, and depart from this study a greater fool than when he entered it.
 


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