Beyond the Book: Background information when reading You Are Here

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You Are Here

A Portable History of the Universe

By Christopher Potter

You Are Here

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About this Book

Beyond the Book

A Brief Biography of Copernicus
Nicolaus Copernicus was one of the first scientists to remove the Earth (and consequently, humanity) from the center of the universe, countering the theological teachings of his day. As such, his theories are referred to often in You Are Here. He is regarded as one of the central figures of the Scientific Revolution, and is sometimes referred to as the founder of modern astronomy.

Copernicus was born Mikolaj Kopernik on February 19, 1473 in the Polish town of Torun, the youngest of four children. His father was a wealthy copper trader active in local politics (kopernik translates as "one who works with copper"), who died when Copernicus was still young. His maternal uncle, Lucas Watzenrode, became guardian to Copernicus and his siblings. 

The young Kopernik (who Latinized his name to Nicolaus Copernicus later in life) was very well educated. He first studied astronomy and astrology at the University of Krakow (1491 – ...

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