I'm not really all that mysterious

Nicolaus Copernicus

The irony is that Copernicus set forth his model of heliocentrism without any empirical evidence whatsoever, and his model was less accurate than Ptolemy’s geocentric model in making predictions of planetary positions and he got the shape of orbits wrong (he thought they were circular and they’re actually very slightly elliptical).

It was actually Johannes Kepler who came up with a heliocentric model with elliptical orbits that eventually managed to supersede Ptolemy’s model and he determined the laws of planetary motion which Newton generalized to the classical law of gravity.

Happy 543rd Birthday, Nicolaus Copernicus • 2016 Feb 19 • Danny Lewis • Smithsonian

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