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Copernicus Google Doodle marks astronomer's 540th birthday


This animated medieval model of the heliocentric solar system is a Google Doodle celebrating astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus' 540th birthday.



Google is doing circles around Nicolaus Copernicus today, celebrating the astronomer's 540th birthday with an animated Doodle.

Copernicus, born in 1473, is best known for his heliocentric view of the universe.

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His model placed the sun, not the Earth, at the center of our cosmos and asserted that the Earth revolves around the sun -- and not the other way around, according to the Christian Science Monitor.

The doodle is a representation of Copernicus' medieval model of the solar system -- a golden sun encircled by six planets on stylized plane.

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He published his seminal work, "De revolutionibus orbium coelestium" (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres), just before his death in 1543 at age 70.

It's widely considered one of the most important works in science, according to Mashable.

Another fun fact? Copernicus did all this without the help of a telescope.

Historians searched for the astronomer's grave for centuries. It was discovered in 2005, and his.remains were re-interred under a tombstone that bears a representation of his model of the solar system, CNET reported.