Answer: Nicolaus Copernicus
Some extra relevant information:
In the 16th century, a groundbreaking theory emerged that would revolutionize our understanding of the universe. This theory proposed a heliocentric model, which stated that the Sun, rather than the Earth, was at the center of the solar system.
The astronomer credited with proposing the heliocentric theory is Nicolaus Copernicus. Born in Torun, Poland in 1473, Copernicus was deeply interested in astronomy from a young age. He studied a wide range of subjects, including mathematics, philosophy, and canon law, but his true passion lay in unraveling the mysteries of the cosmos.
Copernicus’ extensive observations of the night sky led him to question the widely accepted geocentric model, which placed the Earth at the center of the universe. Drawing upon the works of ancient Greek astronomers like Aristarchus of Samos, Copernicus formulated a new theory that placed the Sun at the center of our solar system, with Earth and other planets revolving around it in elliptical orbits.
In 1543, Copernicus published his groundbreaking work titled “De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium” (On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres), which outlined his heliocentric model of the solar system. This seminal publication sparked a major intellectual and scientific revolution, challenging centuries-old beliefs and paving the way for a new era of astronomical understanding.
It is important to note that Copernicus faced significant opposition and criticism for his revolutionary theory. The late 16th-century astronomer Galileo Galilei, among others, also contributed to the acceptance and development of the heliocentric theory through his observations and experiments. However, it was Copernicus who laid the foundation for the heliocentric model, which ultimately transformed our understanding of the cosmos.