Internet giant Google celebrated the 540th anniversary of Renaissance mathematician and astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus on Tuesday with a unique doodle that represented the 'Copernicus' model for the solar system.
Based on his model of the solar system, the animated doodle showed six planets, which were the only ones known at his time, revolving around a golden Sun. The six planets include Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. It also showed the Earth with the Moon in its orbit.
The word "Google" was seen stretched across the solar system in an east to west direction and the Sun replaces one of the "O"s of the logo.
It was through Copernicus' 'heliocentric theory' that the world first came to know that the Sun was at the centre of the universe and not the Earth.
Copernicus was born on 19 February, 1473 in the province of Royal Prussia, Poland. He completed his matriculation in 1491-92 and pursued his studies at the Department of Arts at Krakow astronomical-mathematical school. The school immensely contributed to his subsequent achievements in the field of mathematics.
In 1496, he left for Italy and joined the University of Bologna where mathematics professor Domenico Maria de Novara encouraged his passion for geography and astronomy.
Later, Copernicus returned to Poland where he worked as a secretary for his uncle for several years. He then took up an administrative post in the city of Frauenberg and studied astronomy.
In 1514, he was asked by the Catholic Church to improve the calendar. In 1530, he published his first major work, De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium which outlined his heliocentric model.
According to his theory, all the planets revolved around the Sun. However, the theory was not believed at his time and was even condemned by Martin Luther King.
The polish astronomer breathed his last in May 1543. It was said that the first printed copy of De Revolutionibus was placed in his hands on the day of his death.
Check out the new doodle in a video below: