Copernican system


Copernican system
n.
the theory of Copernicus that the planets revolve around the sun and that the turning of the earth on its axis from west to east accounts for the apparent rising and setting of the stars: basis of modern astronomy

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or Copernican principle

Model of the solar system centred on the Sun, with Earth and other planets revolving around it, formulated by Nicolaus Copernicus in the mid 16th century.

Having the Sun in this central position explained the apparent motion of planets relative to the fixed stars and was truer than the Earth-centred Ptolemaic system (see Ptolemy). Scientifically, the Copernican system led to belief in a much larger universe than before (because, if the Earth revolved around the Sun, the stars would have to be very distant not to appear to alter their position); more broadly, the Copernican principle is invoked to argue against any theory that would give the solar system a special place in the universe. Dethronement of Earth from the centre of the universe caused profound shock: the Copernican system challenged the entire system of ancient authority and required a complete change in the philosophical conception of the universe.

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      in astronomy, model of the solar system centred on the Sun, with Earth and other planets moving around it, formulated by Nicolaus Copernicus (Copernicus, Nicolaus), and published in 1543. It appeared with an introduction by Rhäticus (Rheticus) as De revolutionibus orbium coelestium libri VI (“Six Books Concerning the Revolutions of the Heavenly Orbs”). The Copernican system gave a truer picture than the older Ptolemaic system, which was geocentric, or centred on Earth. It correctly described the Sun as having a central position relative to Earth and other planets. Copernicus retained from Ptolemy of Alexandria, although in somewhat altered form, the imaginary clockwork of epicycles and deferents (orbital circles upon circles), to explain the seemingly irregular movements of the planets in terms of circular motion at uniform speeds.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Copernican system — (also Copernican theory) ► NOUN ▪ the theory proposed by the Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus (1473 1543) that the sun is the centre of the solar system, with the planets (including the earth) orbiting round it. Compare with PTOLEMAIC… …   English terms dictionary

  • Copernican system — n. the theory of Copernicus that the planets revolve around the sun and that the turning of the earth on its axis from west to east accounts for the apparent rising and setting of the stars: basis of modern astronomy …   English World dictionary

  • Copernican system — Pythagorean Pyth a*go re*an, a. [L. Pythagoreus, Gr. ?.] Of or pertaining to Pythagoras (a Greek philosopher, born about 582 b. c.), or his philosophy. [1913 Webster] The central thought of the Pythagorean philosophy is the idea of number, the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Copernican system — Koperniko sistema statusas T sritis fizika atitikmenys: angl. Copernican system vok. kopernikanisches System, n rus. система Коперника, f pranc. système de Copernic, m …   Fizikos terminų žodynas

  • Copernican system — [kə pə:nɪk(ə)n] (also Copernican theory) noun Astronomy the theory proposed by Nicolaus Copernicus that the sun is the centre of the solar system, with the planets (including the earth) orbiting round it. Compare with Ptolemaic system …   English new terms dictionary

  • Copernican system — n. (also Copernican theory) Astron. the theory that the planets (including the earth) move round the sun (cf. Ptolemaic system). Etymology: Copernicus latinized f. M. Kopernik, Polish astronomer d. 1543 …   Useful english dictionary

  • Copernican System —    The heliocentric or sun centered theory of the universe was postulated by a great Polish astronomer, Nicolaus Copernicus (1473 1543). For more than fourteen hundred years people had accepted the system of Ptolemy, namely, that the sun moved… …   Dictionary of eponyms

  • Copernican system — noun A heliocentric model of the solar system, proposed in the 16th Century by the eponymous astronomer …   Wiktionary

  • Copernican system — Co|per|ni|can sys|tem, the the idea, first suggested by Copernicus, that the Earth and the other ↑planets all travel in circles around the sun. Before this it was believed, according to the Ptolemaic system, that the Earth was at the centre of… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Copernican system — /kəpɜnɪkən ˈsɪstəm/ (say kuhpernikuhn sistuhm) noun a model of the universe in which the planets revolved around the sun. Compare Ptolemaic system …   Australian English dictionary


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