Copernicus’s On the Revolutions—A Book That Continues to Challenge

  • Article (blog post)
  • 2000 words
  • Level: all audiences

In this post for The Catholic Astronomer blog, Christopher Graney writes about the groundbreaking 1543 book, De Revolutionibus Orbium Cœlestium, or On the Revolutions of Heavenly Spheres, written by Nicolas Copernicus, a cleric at the cathedral in Frombork, Poland. The post discusses Copernicus’s arguments for the counter-intuitive supposition that the Earth moves around the sun, over the more common-sense supposition that the sun moves around the Earth; it introduces objections to the Copernican system, and Copernicus’s invoking of the power of God to answer those objections; it also discusses how the Copernican system has implications for an evolving universe and life on other worlds. Graney concludes, And so even five centuries after Nicolaus Copernicus wrote it, De Revolutionibus continues to challenge all who engage with its bold claims.  It is a remarkable work.  Few other books can match its boldness and its impact.”

Click here to read the full article on The Catholic Astronomer – the blog of the Vatican Observatory Foundation.