Nicolaus Copernicus

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Born Wednesday 19 February 1473, died Monday 24 May 1543

Occupation: Scientist

Nationality: Polish

Most frequent words in Nicolaus Copernicus quotes

Filter author quotes by word: earth (12), know (2), all (6), center (5), sun (4), motion (3), therefore (4), universe (4), things (4), work (4)

In so many and such important ways, then, do the planets bear witness to the earth's mobility.

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At rest, however, in the middle of everything is the sun.

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Of all things visible, the highest is the heaven of the fixed stars.

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Accordingly, since nothing prevents the earth from moving, I suggest that we should now consider also whether several motions suit it, so that it can be regarded as one of the planets. For, it is not the center of all the revolutions.

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We regard it as a certainty that the earth, enclosed between poles, is bounded by a spherical surface.

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Yet if anyone believes that the earth rotates, surely he will hold that its motion is natural, not violent.

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The massive bulk of the earth does indeed shrink to insignificance in comparison with the size of the heavens.

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I shall now recall to mind that the motion of the heavenly bodies is circular, since the motion appropriate to a sphere is rotation in a circle.

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The earth together with its surrounding waters must in fact have such a shape as its shadow reveals, for it eclipses the moon with the arc of a perfect circle.

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Pouring forth its seas everywhere, then, the ocean envelops the earth and fills its deeper chasms.

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More stars in the north are seen not to set, while in the south certain stars are no longer seen to rise.

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The earth also is spherical, since it presses upon its center from every direction.

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First of all, we must note that the universe is spherical.

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Although all the good arts serve to draw man's mind away from vices and lead it toward better things, this function can be more fully performed by this art, which also provides extraordinary intellectual pleasure.

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Therefore, having obtained the opportunity from these sources, I too began to consider the mobility of the earth.

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For it is the duty of an astronomer to compose the history of the celestial motions through careful and expert study.

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Therefore, in the course of the work I have followed this plan: I describe in the first book all the positions of the orbits together with the movements which I ascribe to the Earth, in order that this book might contain, as it were, the general scheme of the universe.

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Those things which I am saying now may be obscure, yet they will be made clearer in their proper place.

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Therefore I would not have it unknown to Your Holiness, the the only thing which induced me to look for another way of reckoning the movements of the heavenly bodies was that I knew that mathematicians by no means agree in their investigation thereof.

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So, influenced by these advisors and this hope, I have at length allowed my friends to publish the work, as they had long besought me to do.

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