Copernicus’ Secret Essay

1193 words - 5 pages

Copernicus’ Secret is a biography of an astronomer and a cleric who established that the earth was never the center of the cosmos. The author, Jack Repcheck, explores the action-packed last 12 years of Copernicus’s life that altered the track of western history. The main aim of the author is to give a precise in-depth human explanation of the events that led to the scientific revolution. He also tries to bring this scientific genius to life in a manner, which has never been achieved in the past. In addition, the author also tries to reveal some of the little known weak character traits of Copernicus at the time of his major theories.
In his book, Repcheck recounts how a Catholic Church cleric invented a highly complicated theory of the heavens’ architecture. Copernicus made a breakthrough by solving a significant astronomical problem. Everybody except the astronomers had earlier accepted Aristotle’s concept that heavenly objects revolved around the earth in perfectly circular orbits. The astronomers were opposed to this notion since their calculations could not work according to it. Repcheck introduces Ptolemy who described a cosmos in which the earth positioned itself somewhat off-center and other heavenly bodies revolved in one circular orbit inside a second ideal circle at changeable speeds. Even though Ptolemy’s model was rather complicated, astronomers found it to be reasonable in their calculations. Astronomers were still using this new concept even 1500 years later. In this regard, the author starts to bring Copernicus into the picture.
Copernicus was born in Poland and was raised by a prosperous German family. As a result, he really enjoyed his youth, taking twelve years at four different universities. In 1503, he finally got a doctorate degree from the University of Ferrara. Although he was very much fascinated with astronomy, he decided at first to take the customary degree in canon law after which he came back to his local diocese in Poland. He took most of his time viewing the heavens and put down what he visualized. From this, he wrote a book entitled On the Revolution of the Heavenly Spheres, which had incomprehensible diagrams and equations. Astronomers never experienced any difficulty when interpreting the mathematical concepts; they appreciated Copernicus’ idea, which enhanced their predictions of planetary movements, eclipses, and solstices.
When the book was finally published in 1543 (the year in which he died), the idea of the earth going around the sun was paid attention to by only a small number of astronomers. The Catholic Church added Copernicus’ book to its index 70 years later (in 1616) only after the ostentatious Galileo started spreading his views. The author emphasizes the fact that Copernicus was among the few first thinkers who viewed the universe without preconceptions and wrote what he observed. Copernicus work described the technical theory for his sun-centered model of the cosmos, which hypothesized that...

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