May 24 in freethought history…

copernicusMay 24, 1543 – Astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus dies in Frombork, Poland, aged 70. Copernicus is best known for advocating a heliocentric model of the Solar System, in contradiction to the long accepted geocentric model. During his lifetime, he privately circulated copies of his theory via a short outline written in Latin called the “Little Commentary.” His magnum opus On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres was published around the time of his death, sparing him any unpleasantness from Catholic authorities. Copernicus’ work advanced modern astronomy and set the stage for Galileo’s confrontation with the Church beginning in the early 1600s.

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