Astronomy Fundamentals

Medieval Andrenaissance Astronomy

Who first began the challenge to the geocentric model of the solar system?

Polish mathematician and astronomer Nicholas Copernicus (1473–1543; in Polish, Mikolaj Kopernik) suggested in 1507 that the Sun was at the center of the solar system, not Earth. His “heliocentric” model had been proposed by the ancient Greek astronomer Aristarchus around 260 B.C.E., but this theory did not survive past ancient times. Copernicus, therefore, was the first European after Roman times to challenge the geocentric model.


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