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Copernicus, Nicolaus

A Polish astronomer who lived from 1473 to 1543. Copernicus is most famous for devising the Copernican system, which is also known as the heliocentric theory. The Copernican system is a model for our solar system in which Earth and all the other planets orbit the Sun and the Sun is the center of the universe. In contrast, most scientists before Copernicus subscribed to the Ptolemaic system, also known as the geocentric theory, which stated that all the planets, the Moon, and the Sun orbited Earth, which was the center of the universe.

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