Biography of Nicolaus Copernicus

This article contains a concise biographical timeline for Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543). He is known today for pioneering the heliocentric theory of our solar system.

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1473 – He is born in Thoruń, Poland.

1491-1495 – He studies in the University of Krakow’s Department of Arts.

1495 – He leaves Krakow without a degree for the court of his uncle Watzenrode.

1496-1501 – He studies the humanities, astronomy, and canon law in Bologna.

1496 – He observes the occultation of Aldebaran by the moon.

1500 – He spends a year in Rome.

1501-1503 – He studies at the University of Padua.

1503 – He receives the degree of Doctor of Canon Law.

1503-1510 – He is his uncle’s secretary and physician.

1510 or 1512 – He moves to Frombork.

Before 1514 – He outlines his heliocentric theory.

1513-1516 – He conducts astronomical observations from his external curia.

1514 – He purchases the northwestern tower within the walls of the Frombork stronghold.

1520 – His astronomical equipment is probably destroyed in the Teutonic Order’s raid against Frauenburg.

1522-1543 – He conducts astronomical observations from an unidentified small tower.

c.1532 – He completes the basics for his De revolutionibus.

1543 – He publishes his De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres).

1543 – He dies in Frombork.

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