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(1473/02/19 - 1543/05/24)
He was born February 19, 1473 in the city of Thorn ( Toruntoday), Prussia, Poland.
He was the youngest of four sons of a merchant of Krakow and Barbara Watzenrode, daughter of another wealthy merchant of Torun. His brother Andreas became an Augustinian Friar; his sister Barbara, in Benedictine nun being prioress of a convent in Chelmno. The five sons of his sister Katharina, cared until the end of his life. Never married nor had children. His uncle was Bishop Ukasz Watzenrode, who was concerned about his nephew to enter at the best universities.
He studied at the University of Krakow (1491-1494), which was formed under the guidance of the mathematician Wojciech Brudzewski. Later he travelled to Italy to study law and medicine. In January 1497 he began his studies in Canon law at the University of Bologna, he holds a PhD in astronomy in Rome. He also studied medicine at Padua. Without having finished medicine, graduated in Canon law at the University of Ferrara in 1503. Copernicus spoke latin and German fluently, as well as Greek and Italian. Throughout his life he would become mathematician, astronomer, jurist, physicist, Catholic clergyman, Governor, administrator, diplomat, military leader and Economist.
In 1501, he returned to his homeland and became a Canon in the Cathedral of Frauenburg. He lived in the episcopal Palace of his uncle in Lidzbark 1503-1510 Warminski working in the administration of the diocese. He published his first book, a translation of the latin letters of a Byzantine author of the 7th century ethics, Simocata Teofilatos. From 1507 to 1515 wrote a treatise of astronomy, De hypothesibus motuum coelestium to be constitutis commentariolus (known as the Commentariolus), the work laid the foundations of his heliocentric concept.
Travel to Frauenburg, in 1512, and takes part in the Commission of the Fifth Lateran Council for the reform of the calendar (1515); He wrote a treatise on money (1517) and write De revolutionibus orbium caelestium (on the revolutions of the heavenly bodies), which culminated in 1530 and was published on 24 may 1543.
He formulated the heliocentric solar system theory, based on studies of Aristarchus of Samos (310 BC - 230 BC). His theory established that the earth revolved on its own once a day, and that once a year gave a round around the Sun. Also stated that the Earth, in its rotational movement, it leaned on its axis. One of his contributions was the new order of alignment of the planets according to their periods of rotation. He discovered that the greater was the radius of the orbit of a planet, took more time to give a complete revolution around the Sun. It was the subject of much criticism, especially of the Church, by denying that the Earth was the center of the universe. His books were admitted to the Index (list of publications prohibited by the Church). The German astronomer Johannes Kepler and Galileo were his followers.
Towards the end of 1542, Copernicus suffered a stroke and paralysis, dying on 24 may 1543 in Frombork, Poland. He was buried in the Cathedral, where the archaeologists for more than two centuries sought in vain his grave, until in August 2005 a team discovered it under the floor of the Cathedral. An analysis of DNA in 2008 of a tooth and a bone fragment of the discovered in the temple, confirmed that they were his remains.