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Nicolaus Copernicus’s 540th birthday celebrated by animated Google doodle

Feb 19 (): Google today celebrates the 540th birthday of renowned astronomer and mathematician Nicolaus Copernicus, who devised the concept that planets revolve around the sun. To mark his birthday, Google has put up a specially theme on the Google doodle search engine’s home page.

Born on February 19, 1473 at Thorn, in the province of Royal Prussia, Poland; Copernicus, completed his matriculation in 1491-92. He expounded the heliocentric theory that proved the sun lies at centre of the universe.

The theory put an end to the then prevalent notion that the Sun revolves around the earth and the medieval belief that the earth was the centre of the universe. Copernicus published the first draft of his heliocentric theories some time before 1514.

So, today’s Google doodle showcases Sun at the centre of the universe and other planets revolving around it, to honour him on his 540th birthday.

“Doodles are the fun, surprising, and sometimes spontaneous changes that are made to the Google logo to celebrate holidays, anniversaries, and the lives of famous artists, pioneers, and scientists,” a Google webpage on doodles says.

The doodle displays the sun at the centre of the universe and has the then known five other planets – Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn – revolving around the sun. The Moon is also seen revolving around the earth.

The second ‘O’ of the Google logo has been replaced for the sun, while the other letters of the word Google, represented in Google’s characteristic Catull font, appear in the backdrop.

His theory was viewed with misgiving thought by the Church, and his thesis was not published until 1543, the year of his death.

Nicolaus Copernicus died on 24th May, 1543, and it is believed that the first printed copy of his research, De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium (On the revolutions of the celestial spheres), was published on the day of his death.